Updated with charges to driver
Two people were hospitalized Friday night at the conclusion of the Neon Cruise when a car doing a burnout lost control, ran into a parked SUV, flipped onto its top and caught fire, witnesses said.
The Dalles Police Sgt. Josh Jones said at the scene at Second and Washington that the driver of the car was “potentially facing serious charges.”
He said the driver was taken to the hospital to be checked out. Witness Diego Santiago, 23, of The Dalles, said he saw Jones administering what appeared to be sobriety tests to the driver.
Ronald Leroy Madorin, 53, was arrested Friday night on a charge of second-degree assault. The charge means to intentionally, recklessly or knowingly cause serious injury to someone.
Jones said the passenger in the vehicle was taken to the hospital, as was the bystander who was hit by the parked car. He said at least one bystander was hit by the parked SUV.
Witness Mike Waine, of Maupin, said he saw the “hot rod” when it was “in the middle of the intersection. You could hear him break his tires loose, do a burnout.”
A burnout is when a car stays stationary while its wheels spin, causing the wheels to smoke.
Waine and his two young daughters had just been in the area where the parked SUV was shoved into about two minutes before the crash, but they had left so the girls could go dancing to the live music in the JC Penney parking lot.
He said the car “flipped, caught fire, exploded.” He said a fire extinguisher in another classic car was quickly pulled out and the fire was extinguished in about 30 seconds.
He said, “I watched that car pull his front tires off the ground twice in the last hour before the crash.”
Hailey Felker, 10, was just leaving the area when pandemonium erupted. She said a man running toward the crash knocked her over and she got a scrape on her left elbow. He continued toward the incident, she said.
While she was maybe 20 feet away from the crash, her cousin was “just 10 feet away from it and if they wouldn’t have moved they would’ve got hit, but they moved just in time.”
A woman with Felker said the bystander who was hit was briefly trapped.
Santiago said, “I just hope the gentleman that was just standing there that had nothing to do with it other than spectating is alright because he’s the one in the worst position because he actually got ran over by the vehicle and got pinned against the ground. And once they pulled him out they rolled him into the rocks and now he’s just laying there waiting for paramedics to pull him out.”
Santiago said he was “kind of in shock” at witnessing the scene. “Definitely gets your blood pumping. I’ve seen this stuff on TV and all over the place and you never think you’re going to be caught in it until it happens.”