Mother and daughter die in Salem crash
Salem police identified them as Kelly Moore and daughter Jasmine, a fourth-grader at Newby Elementary School.
Jasmine’s twin sister Jayden, also a Newby fourth-grader, suffered potentially life-threatening injuries, police said. So did driver Hannah Rietz, 28, also of McMinnville, and Rietz’s 8-year-old daughter, Marena, a Newby second-grader, they said.
Lt. Dave Okada of the Salem police gave this account of the crash, which occurred about 6:15 p.m.:
Rietz was northbound on Turner Road when her 1994 Ford Escort crossed into the path of a southbound 1997 Ford F-150 pickup driven by Jason McMurphy, 32, of Turner. The vehicles collided head-on, killing Kelly and Jasmine Moore.
Murphy, Jayden Moore and the Rietzes were initially transported to Salem Hospital.
Murphy was released following treatment. Heather Rietz was transferred to Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, and was reported in serious condition Thursday. The status of Jayden Moore and Marena Rietz could not be immediately confirmed.
Police said they hadn’t yet determined what caused the Escort to cross the center line, but said intoxicants and speed did not appear to be factors. They said their Traffic Control Unit had an investigation underway.
Relatives told Fox 12 News in Portland that Hannah Rietz and Kelly Moore had just received tax refund checks and were planning to use them to take their children shopping in Salem.
News of the crash came as a big blow to the staff at Newby, said Principal Dave Carlson.
“We develop strong relationships with kids,” he said. “That makes it very hard. We think of them as our own.”
He described all three girls as “great, great kids.”
Carlson said he worked with counselors Wednesday morning on a statement read to students in their classrooms. He said a letter was also sent home to parents.
Extra counselors from other schools, and the community at large, were dispatched to Newby to assist children and adults needing help processing the tragedy and working through their grief. Counselors also were assigned to Jasmine’s classroom, where students made remembrance cards Wednesday.
In Jayden and Marena’s classrooms, and others around the school, students made get-well cards.
“Our hearts are with them,” Carlson said. “We’re missing them.”
A Kelly Moore Benefit Memorial Fund has been established through Wells Fargo Bank to help the Moore family with expenses.
Carmen Peirano of Nick’s Italian Cafe in McMinnville said a fundraiser dinner and auction for the Moore family would be held Sunday, March 9. She said the doors would be opening at 5:15 p.m.
The benefit dinner runs $75. Reservations can be made by calling 503-434-4471.
The accompanying auction will feature gift packages from local businesses and wineries.
“We had a quick meeting yesterday,” Peirano said Thursday. “There will be hors d’oeuvres and a complete meal.”
She said she became acquainted with Jasmine and Jayden through their father and wanted to do something to help.