VALE — Following a change of plea, a Nyssa man will be avoiding a trial in relation to a drunken driving incident that sent several people to the hospital in July.
On Friday afternoon in front of Judge Lung Hung, Floriberto Trinidad Guzman, who was 27 at the time of the incident, pleaded guilty to four felony counts of assault in the third degree and one misdemeanor count of driving under the influence of intoxicants.
On Sept. 17, Trinidad Guzman had originally pleaded not guilty to five counts of assault in the third degree, one count of assault in the fourth degree, one count of driving under the influence of intoxicants and one count of reckless driving. One count of assault in the third degree, the count of assault in the fourth degree and the count of reckless driving were dismissed per the plea agreement.
A two-day 12-person jury trial had originally been scheduled to start on Monday.
On July 12, Trinidad Guzman was driving a Nissan Frontier on Clark Boulevard when he failed to stop at a stop sign, Malheur County Sheriff Brian Wolfe said. Instead, he traveled through the intersection, striking a Ford Expedition traveling east on Railroad Avenue, by Margaritas Vargas, 35, of Vale, according to a desk log from Oregon State Police, who had four minor passengers with her.
Trinidad Guzman’s blood alcohol content was .19, more than twice Oregon’s legal limit of .08.
Those passengers were two 15-year-old girls, a 14-year-old girl and a 4-year-old boy, all from Vale.
The crash resulted in all of the occupants in both vehicles being taken to the hospital. Two were taken by Life Flight, including Trinidad Guzman and one of the 15-year-old girls. Trinidad Guzman’s injuries ended up being treated and he was released at Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center-Ontario. He was subsequently arrested by waiting deputies and taken to Malheur County Jail.
Some time later, the 4-year-old boy was transported from the hospital to Boise via Life Flight for very serious injuries.
Oregon State Police, Ontario Fire and Treasure Valley Paramedics assisted with the crash.