PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The impaired driver who hit and killed an 11-year-old Gresham boy who was on his way to school will spend 7 years in prison, the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office announced Monday.
The 6th-grader, Luis Medina-Estrada, was hit and killed while walking through the crosswalk just down the street from Dexter McCarty Middle School in Gresham on January 6, 2020, the first day back from winter break.
Garrett Bergquist ran a red light and witnesses said Bergquist was speeding at the time, anywhere between 40 – 70mph. Another vehicle in the vicinity honked their horn and attempted to get the child’s attention before he was hit.
The boy was thrown 80 feet after he was hit by the car. A citizen with a dashcam captured the entire incident and showed it to investigators.
When Bergquist got out of the car, the DA’s Office said, he was on his phone and began taking pictures.
A drug recognition evaluator from the Oregon State Police came to the scene and “determined Bergquist was impaired by central nervous system depressants and narcotic pain relievers to the point at which he could not safely operate a motor vehicle,” court documents said.
This was not Bergquist’s first DUII offense. He pleaded guilty in 2015 to driving under the influence and completed a diversion program in 2016.
In a victim impact statement at sentencing, Luis’ mother said, “Every day one of my children asks me why is their brother is not here. I as a mother have to answer. It is a very difficult thing. The punishment is never enough when the child is taken away.”
Bergquist, 27, will also be on parole for 3 years after he is released from prison and his driving privileges have been permanently revoked.