GRESHAM, OR (KPTV) — A driver charged with hitting and killing an 11-year-old boy near a Gresham school was on central nervous system depressants and narcotic pain relievers to the point he could not safely operate a motor vehicle, according to court documents.
Garrett Bergquist, 26, is facing charges of first-degree manslaughter, second-degree manslaughter, DUI and reckless driving, according to the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office.
He was arraigned in court Tuesday.
The investigation began when emergency crews responded to Southeast Hogan Road and 5th Avenue at around 8:30 a.m. Monday.
Police said Luis Medina was heading to class at Dexter McCarty Middle School when he was hit. Court documents state Medina had the right of way as he was crossing the street in a marked crosswalk.
Witnesses told police that Bergquist ran a red light at a high rate of speed heading south on Hogan Street.
Luis was thrown around 80 feet from the impact of the crash, according to court documents.
Investigators reviewed dash-cam video from someone in the area that showed the collision.
Court documents state Bergquist continued to drive a “significant distance” after the collision, before stopping his car, getting out and taking photos, according to the district attorney’s office.
Oregon State Police sent a drug recognition evaluator to the scene. A probable cause affidavit states Bergquist failed field sobriety tests.
Bergquist told officers he was late for work, but he wasn’t speeding, he had a green light and he did not see the child step in front of his car, according to a probable cause affidavit.
The affidavit states Bergquist told officers he taxes Xanax and “Oxy” without prescriptions, and that he had last taken the drugs the previous night, but he felt no effects that morning.
Bergquist later told authorities he takes pain medication for an old leg injury, but not under a doctor’s care, according to court documents.
Court records show a 2015 DUII charge was dismissed against Bergquist when he finished diversion.
Bergquist pleaded not guilty to the new charges in court Tuesday. His bail was set at $500,000.
A memorial continues to grow at the crash site near the school. The boy’s father, Bartolo, went to the memorial Monday night.
“It’s painful for him, but it’s nice to know that people are supportive,” said Paloma Rendon, Luis’ cousin.
Rendon told FOX 12 that Luis was a quiet and shy little boy, with a sweet heart, who loved playing with his sister and being in the water.
“One thing that I remember about him was he didn’t want to get out of the pool all summer, and we’d have to be like, ‘hey let’s get out of the pool, let’s eat, let’s do something else,’ and he just wanted to stay in the water. It’s a nice memory but it’s very hard,” she said.