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News Release
Early morning collision leaves one injured, one deceased - 04/02/24

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                  

DATE: April 2, 2024


Early morning collision leaves one injured, one deceased

Salem, Ore. — On Tuesday, April 2 at 6:37 a.m., Salem police and fire personnel responded to a two-vehicle crash at the intersection of Commercial ST and Ewald AV SE. 

The preliminary investigation by the Salem Police Traffic Team determined the driver of an SUV was traveling southbound on Commercial ST in the northbound lanes when he crashed into a pick-up truck which was traveling northbound on Commercial ST. The vehicles collided head on in the 3800 block. 

The driver of the SUV, 38-year-old Thomas Edward Cesna of Salem, was transported to Salem Health with non-life-threatening injuries. The driver of the pick-up truck, 52-year-old Jose Refugio Hernandez-Orozco of Salem, was also transported to Salem Health where he later died from injuries received from the collision.

Cesna is currently hospitalized but in police custody with pending charges of second-degree manslaughter, reckless driving, reckless endangering, and driving under the influence of an intoxicant.

The northbound lanes of Commercial ST were closed between Ewald and Oak Hill AV SE for eight hours while the area was cleared, and the incident investigated.

Today’s incident is the Traffic Team’s seventh major traffic collision investigation, resulting in the seventh traffic fatality of 2024.

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