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Crash at Oregon Festival Injures Dozens

ONTARIO, Ore. (AP) — A car crashed into the bandstand area at a festival in eastern Oregon Saturday afternoon, injuring two dozen people.

Melissa Grimes of Ontario told the Idaho Statesman newspaper she saw the green car driving fast, then heard a huge crash when it jumped a curb, plowed through a metal barrier and into the spectator stands.

"It was like something from the "Dukes of Hazard,"" she said.

Grimes, a certified nursing assistant, ran to see if she could help. "I dropped my shoes, my phone, my purse," she said.

Elizabeth Duncan, spokeswoman for the Saint Alphonsus Health System, said 23 people were taken to its hospital in Ontario and one was taken to its trauma center in Boise.

None of the injuries appeared to be life-threatening, though three people were listed in critical condition. Some people had broken bones and possible internal injuries.

The driver, 19-year-old Jaime Everardo of Ontario, was arrested on charges of assault and driving under the influence of intoxicants, said Malheur County District Attorney Dan Norris. He said the driver had a juvenile passenger who was being questioned by investigators.

Norris said he has been reviewing videotape of the crash, but it was too soon to say exactly what happened.

The crash occurred just after 2 p.m. at Lions Park in a city just west of the Idaho state line. The spectators attending the annual America's Global Village Festival were watching entertainers on the main stage.

The park is across the street from the hospital, Grimes said, so paramedics were there quickly. She saw several injured people, including a young boy with a hurt knee, and an elderly woman lying under the stands.

Within minutes, she said, emergency crews were carrying people to ambulances on gurneys.



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