Oregon state patrol says an SUV crossed the center line and collided with an SUV carrying seven members of a Washington family
Seven members of a Washington family, including five children aged 2 to 11, were killed on Monday in a two car collision in Eastern Oregon.
Oregon State Police said the crash occurred on Highway 78 in Harney County near milepost 30 southeast of Burns when Mark Robert Rundell, 48, of Prairie City, Oregon, crossed the center lane in a 1999 Toyota 4Runner.
Rundell, who was the sole occupant of his vehicle, and the seven members of the Washington family were all pronounced dead at the scene, police said.
The driver of the other vehicle, a 2016 Toyota 4Runner, was identified by Oregon State Police as Erika Carter Boquet, 29, of Tacoma, according to a state police news release.
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The passengers in Boquet’s SUV were her three children: Isabella Earlene Boquet, 11, Elisabeth Ann Boquet, 8, and Tytis Michael Boquet, 6.
Three other relatives in Boquet’s car also died in the crash, police said. They were identified as Olympia residents Kyla Marie Brown, 28, Arianna Marie Brown, 10 and Xavier King Johnson, 2.
Louis Johnson, Boquet’s father and Brown’s boyfriend, said the collision has reverberated across the Tacoma community. A vigil was held on Tuesday and a second vigil was planned for Wednesday night.
“I didn’t just lose seven of my family members, the community lost seven of their family members,” Johnson said.
Johnson and his son, Jessie Tate, described the victims as giving and caring people who were full of potential.
“Even when they were struggling they wanted to make sure other people didn’t struggle,” Tate said.
Boquet’s brother told the Oregonian that Brown, his sister and the children had been headed to Las Vegas for an end-of-summer trip.
Staff reporter Agueda Pacheco-Flores contributed to this report.
An earlier version of this story mistakenly reported the accident occurred in eastern Washington.