Criminal charges pending

Oregon State Police is continuing the investigation into Monday night’s traffic crash on Highway 35 near Mt. Hood Meadows that injured two people, one seriously.

On Dec. 24 at approximately 8:27 p.m., a white 1993 Honda Accord driven by Cornelio Diaz Flores, 28, from Hood River, was northbound on Highway 35 near milepost 67 when the Honda traveled off the highway into Pocket Creek Sno-Park parking area and collided into three unoccupied parked vehicles.

Several people, including two nurses, were across the highway having a Christmas Eve bonfire and heard the crash. They ran to the scene and started providing emergency medical care to Diaz Flores and passenger Cesar Alonzo Mendoza, 27, from Parkdale. Both were unconscious.

Two persons drove on Highway 35 until they found an ODOT worker in a snow plow and reported the crash, then continued driving until they had cellphone service and called 9-1-1.

Diaz Flores, who was driving with a suspended license, was transported by ambulance to Hood River Memorial Hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.

Zarate-Mendoza was initially transported by ambulance to Mt. Hood Meadows where he was picked up by LifeFlight and taken to Oregon Health & Science University for treatment of serious injuries. Neither were using safety restraints.

OSP troopers from The Dalles Area Command office were assisted at the scene by OSP troopers from Portland, Hood River County Sheriff’s Office, Parkdale Fire Department and ODOT.

Trooper Brent Ocheskey is the lead investigator working in conjunction with the Hood River County District Attorney’s Office. Ocheskey said the report will be ready for the DA to decide upon any criminal charges shortly after Jan. 1.

OSP and ODOT urge travelers to be prepared for potential hazardous winter driving conditions in mountain passes and other areas of the state. Please make sure your vehicle is properly equipped and to drive at safe and sober at all times.

Additional holiday traffic safety information and tips is available at Up-to-date road and weather information is also available at

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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