Groundskeeper killed in hit-run near McMinnville


Authorities believe the victim was struck Saturday afternoon

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Yamhill County Sheriff’s deputies that were looking for a Dodge Ram pickup as part of a hit-and-run investigation after a man was found dead on the side of a road near Highway 18 outside McMinnville Sunday morning said Tuesday they found and seized the vehicle.

Authorities said a passerby found the deceased man around 11 a.m. Sunday just west of town. However, the investigation indicates that the victim was struck and killed sometime around 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon. He was later identified as 56-year-old Ricardo Morales Avila of Salem.  He worked as a groundskeeper near where he was found.

The sheriff’s office said evidence at the scene indicated that someone was driving west on Durham Road toward Highway 18 when they struck the victim. Based on pieces of the vehicle that were left behind, authorities said they were looking for a 2006-2008 full-size Dodge Ram pickup, likely “dark metallic blue” in color. The collision would have left “significant damage on the front, passenger-side headlight area.”

Though they found and seized the vehicle, investigators released no further information at this time. The investigation continues.

Anyone with information on the crash or the car involved is asked to contact Deputy Steve Wilkinson or Sgt. Don Stackpole at 503-434-7506—case number 20-3147.

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