SALEM, Oregon — Three teens died in a car crash Sunday night in Salem when an inebriated driver ran a red light and crashed into their car, police said.
The blood alcohol level of the driver, 25-year-old Juan Carlos Rodriguez Palacios of Salem, was 0.239%, almost three times the legal limit of 0.08%. He was arrested and is being held at the Marion County Jail without bail.
The crash happened at 11:30 p.m. in the area of Salem Parkway and Cherry Avenue NE. Police said that Rodriguez Palacios was speeding in a Jeep Wrangler on Salem Parkway, ran the red light at Cherry Avenue NE and crashed into a Toyota Camry.
All three teenagers in the Toyota, 19-year-old Trinity Watt of Salem, 19-year-old Madison Capobianco of Salem, and 18-year-old Makayla Tryon of Keizer, all died in the crash.
Artem Shypuk was Madison Capobianco’s boyfriend and learned about the crash Monday morning. He said Madison was an honor student at Chemeketa Community College and went out of her way to help people.
“I just want people to know how amazing and hard-working she was,” said Shypuk. “Please don't drink and drive. You never know whose love of your life you're going to take away.”
Rodriguez Palacios faces the following charges: three counts of first-degree manslaughter, four counts of reckless endangering of another person, one count of third-degree assault, one count of reckless driving and one count of DUII.
He was previously arrested for DUII and hit-and-run in 2015.
In court on Tuesday, the prosecutor asked the judge to take Rodriguez Palacios' driving history into consideration. The prosecutor also said Rodriguez Palacios had passengers in his vehicle and that at least one of them was injured.
Rodriguez Palacios is scheduled to be back in court on June 11.