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Two vehicles collide at Boise and Gumwood

by: HOLLY GILL/MADRAS PIONEER - Rescue personnel assist multiple victims injured in a two-vehicle crash at the intersection of Boise Drive and Gumwood Lane about seven miles north of Madras.A child was killed and five people seriously injured on Monday, when a 1984 Chevrolet Suburban and a 2001 Ford Mustang collided at the intersection of Boise Drive and Gumwood Lane.

Public safety personnel were dispatched to the scene just before 5 p.m. on Feb. 17, and took over for a bystander who was administering CPR to the child. Despite their efforts, the 5-year-old boy, who had been ejected from the Suburban, died at the scene.

According to Capt. Marc Heckathorn, undersheriff for the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, the incident occurred when the Suburban, driven by Leroy Hicks Jr., 51, of Warm Springs, was westbound on Gumwood Lane and failed to stop at the intersection with Boise Drive, nearly a mile east of U.S. Highway 26.

The Suburban, which had two adult female passengers and the 5-year-old boy, struck the southbound Mustang, driven by Colton Hemenway, 19, of Madras. Hemenway and a female passenger were both extracted from the vehicle and transported by ambulance to St. Charles Madras.

The AirLink helicopter, which had landed nearby, later stopped at St. Charles Madras and transported Hemenway to St. Charles Bend.

"We still don't think speed was a factor in the crash," said Heckathorn, noting that the sheriff's office is working with Oregon State Police on the crash reconstruction, and has not yet determined whether seat belts were being used in the two vehicles.

Hicks and the two other passengers in his vehicle were all transported by ambulance to St. Charles Madras.

Both vehicles ended up off the road on the southwest corner of the intersection, with the Suburban overturned and on the top of the front of the Mustang. Phone lines were damaged, but power lines remained intact.

The intersection remained closed for about five hours as investigators remained at the scene of the crash until 10 p.m. Alcohol does not appear to have been a factor in the crash.

"All witnesses involved in the crash are cooperating with law enforcement and this office is still actively investigating the crash with aid from a reconstructionist from the Oregon State Police," said Heckathorn on Tuesday afternoon.

The name of the child will not be released at the request of the family, he said.

Besides assistance from OSP, the sheriff's office was assisted by the Jefferson County Fire Department, Jefferson County Emergency Medical Services, Warm Springs Fire and Safety, and the Jefferson County District Attorney's Office.

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