Car crashes into building in McMinnville
A Newberg man was arrested Saturday night after the vehicle he was driving at a high rate of speed crashed into the old Hubbard's Shoe Grease Company building at 1145 N.E. Lafayette Ave., McMinnville.
Sgt. Tim Symons of the McMinnville police identified the suspect as Jorge Alberto Valdez, 19, of 207 E. Seventh St. He was charged with one count each of first-degree criminal mischief, second-degree criminal trespass, driving under the influence of intoxicants, hit-and-run and recklessly endangering another person, in addition to two counts of attempt to elude a police officer/foot and vehicle. He was lodged in the Yamhill County Jail on $40,000 bail pending arraignment at 1:20 p.m. today before Circuit Court Judge Cal Tichenor.
Symons gave this account of the 10 p.m. crash:
A McMinnville officer attempted to stop a 2002 Dodge Stratus driving south on Northeast Lafayette Avenue with its headlights off. The car sped away by turning west on 11th Way, north on Alpine Avenue and east on 12th Avenue before returning to Lafayette Avenue.
The car attempted to turn back onto 11th Way westbound at a high rate of speed but went out of control and crashed into the building. The vehicle and building were damaged. Valdez was not injured.
He and a passenger fled, but were located a short time later in the backyard of a residence on Riverside Drive. Two other passengers remained in the vehicle and were cooperative with officers.
Valdez recorded a blood alcohol content of .16, twice the presumptive level of intoxication in Oregon. The 14-year-old male passenger who fled was cited for being a minor in possession of alcohol by consumption. He was transported by McMinnville Fire Department ambulance to the Willamette Valley Medical Center for evaluation of potential injuries.
The two passengers who remained in the vehicle were not cited. They sustained minor injuries.