VALE — A drunken driver from Nyssa is facing multiple charges including four felonies, after he missed a stop sign and crashed into an oncoming car sending seven people, himself and his passenger included, to a local hospital.
According to Malheur County Sheriff Brian Wolfe, Floriberto Trinidad Guzman, 27, was driving in a Nissan Frontier on Clark Boulevard when he failed to stop at a stop sign. 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.
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. Guzman’s injuries ended up being treated and released at Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center-Ontario. He was subsequently arrested by waiting deputies and taken to Malheur County Jail where he is currently lodged.
Some time later, the 4-year-old boy was transported from the hospital to Boise via Life Flight for very serious injuries.
Malheur County District Attorney David Goldthorpe said this afternoon that the boy is still in the Intensive Care Unit at a Boise hospital, adding that he is hopeful “nothing goes worse.”
Trinidad Guzman had a preliminary arraignment this afternoon in front of Judge Erin Landis on charges resulting from the crash. The Grand Jury will look at the case again on Thursday when the full medical reports are available and, Goldthorpe said, charges could change based on those and whether any medical conditions have been upgraded or downgraded.
Trinidad Guzman faces four charges or assault in the third degree, a class B felony. He also faces three class A misdemeanor, two for assault in the fourth degree, one for reckless driving and one for driving under the influence of alcohol.
His blood alcohol content was .19, more than twice Oregon’s legal limit of .08.
Goldthorpe explained the differences in the assault charges were based on the severity of the injuries, adding that it is a felony in Oregon when a serious physical injury cases prolonged impairment of bodily function or disfigurement.
In addition to the boy in ICU, whose injuries were not disclosed, the teenage girl had a fractured vertebrae and another person had a broken leg, which required immediate surgery.
Landis set security for Trinidad Guzman at $160,000, with the opportunity to be released if 10% is posted. If bail is posted, there will be terms with the release, including daily check-ins, no alcohol and no contact with the victims.
Oregon State Police, Ontario Fire and Treasure Valley Paramedics assisted with the crash.