Six injured in crash on I-5, state champ boxer in critical condition

MARION COUNTY, Ore. - Six people were hurt in a crash on Interstate 5 Saturday morning when a van collided with the back of a tanker trailer near the Donald/Aurora interchange, state police said.

According to police three of those passengers were seriously injured.

Oregon State Police Sgt. Mark Davie said the accident happened just before 10 a.m. near milepost 278. State Police say Heron Mendez, the 66-year-old organizer of Springfield's Mendez Boxing Gym, was driving the van.

The van was taking the northbound Donald/Aurora on-ramp when it collided with the back of a tanker trailer pulled by a commercial truck, officials said.

Mendez Boxing member 14-year-old Carlos Perez is listed in critical condition at OHSU, a hospital spokeswoman said Saturday night. Officials say he was not wearing a seat belt.

His father, 41-year-old Carlos Perez-Trujillo, and 12-year-old sister are also at OHSU with serious injuries.

Mendez and his passengers Jake Williams, 36, of Eugene, and Louis Zenon-Meza, 28, of Eugene, were taken to Legacy Emanuel with non-life threatening injuries.

The truck driver, 68-year-old Richard Reienmuth, was unhurt in the crash.

Troopers are still investigating what caused the crash, but they believe that foggy conditions were the main cause.

The area around the on-ramp was closed for over two hours while crews worked in the area. The tanker trailer contained approximately 27,000 gallons of latex but no HazMat spill occurred.

Nearly a month ago Carlos Perez was crowned State Boxing Champion. He then went on to the Pacific Northwest Boxing Regionals, where he placed first. | More About Perez

This is a developing story, updates will be posted when information becomes available.