2 motorcycle riders die in crash near Salem, driver charged with DUII

Crash in Salem - KATU image

SALEM, Ore. – Two people are dead and a suspected DUII driver is in custody after a crash early Sunday morning involving a motorcycle and a pickup towing a horse trailer along Highway 22 near Interstate 5.

According to police, Eduardo de la Lima Vargas, 39, of Hubbard, was driving his pickup west on the highway with loaded horse trailer in-tow when he ran a red light at the Mission Street SE intersection and hit a motorcycle.

Both people were thrown off the motorcycle in the crash. They were taken to the hospital and later pronounced deceased.

No reports of injuries to Vargas or the horse.

According to Salem Police officials, the motorcycle operator was making a turn into the eastbound lanes from I-5 south when they were hit.

The motorcycle ended up underneath the pickup and both vehicles caught fire.

The horse was safely taken out of the trailer and crews managed to extinguish the fire. The Polk County Search & Rescue is taking care of the horse until they can find other arrangements for its care.

Vargas has been booked into the Marion County Jail on two counts of manslaughter, reckless endangering, reckless driving, and DUII.

The highway was partially blocked for several hours for a crash investigation.

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