Three felony charges for truck driver in Koberg accident

January 18, 2006

A grand jury decided Friday sufficient evidence exists to charge Edwin Montoya with five crimes.

Montoya, 43, a Lynnwood, Wash.-based semi-truck driver, rear-ended a Ford Econoline at high speed Dec. 24 on Interstate 84.

Hood River County’s District Attorney’s office has charged him with three counts of Class C felony assault, one count of driving under the influence of controlled substances and one count of reckless driving.

If convicted of all five, Montoya, 43, could face five years in a state penitentiary, two years in a county jail and $137,500 in fines.

The charges result from reports that Montoya was allegedly watching a pornographic digital video and had Oxycontin – also called “Hillbilly Heroin” – in his bloodstream when his semi rear-ended the Econoline van of Hector Salzar-Garcia.

Montoya was towing seven automobiles as freight at the time.

The impact from that collision forced the van into a tumble toward the guardrail, which ejected Hector Salzar-Garcia, 55, his wife, Angela, and his 3-year-old son, Hector through the van’s back window.

All three landed in the rocky ravine.

Ambulances rushed all four to Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital. But only one – Salzar-Garcia – had suffered serious injuries.

Hood River County Prosecutor John Sewell did not comment on the case by press time Tuesday, despite numerous attempts to his office.

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