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Car crash sends two to hospital

At the intersection of Cascade Avenue and 20th Street, three cars were involved in an accident June 11 when Samuel Nakamura, driver of a 1990 Toyota Corolla, attempted a left-hand turn from the eastbound lane of Cascade onto 20th Street, near the Subway deli. Emergency responders assisted two of Nakamura’s passengers who were injured when another vehicle struck his vehicle’s side as it traveled westbound on Cascade. A third vehicle, waiting at the adjacent stop sign, received minor damage.

At the intersection of Cascade Avenue and 20th Street, three cars were involved in an accident June 11 when Samuel Nakamura, driver of a 1990 Toyota Corolla, attempted a left-hand turn from the eastbound lane of Cascade onto 20th Street, near the Subway deli. Emergency responders assisted two of Nakamura’s passengers who were injured when another vehicle struck his vehicle’s side as it traveled westbound on Cascade. A third vehicle, waiting at the adjacent stop sign, received minor damage. Photo by Adam Lapierre.

At about 12:50 p.m. June 11, a crowd quickly gathered on Cascade Avenue at 20th Street after hearing the sounds of breaking glass and crunching metal. A three-vehicle crash at the site sent two Hood River men to the hospital — one to Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital and one, via LifeFlight, to Portland.

Samuel Nakamura, 21, was driving a 1990 Toyota Corolla heading eastbound on Cascade Avenue when he initiated a left-hand turn onto 20th Street above the skate park. He was carrying two passengers, Brandon Nakamura, 24, and Nathan Jellison, 25, both from Hood River.

Jellison was seriously injured and was transported to the helipad where he was evacuated via LifeFlight to a Portland-area hospital. According to Hood River Police Sgt. Andy Rau, lead officer on the case, recent reports indicate Jellison is recovering.

Brandon Nakamura was also injured in the crash and was treated at PHRMH. No additional details are available on his status at this time.

According to Hood River Police Chief Neal Holste, Nakamura advanced his vehicle across the path of an oncoming vehicle that was traveling westbound on Cascade and was struck on the passenger’s side “T-bone fashion.” Hood River resident Christine O’Neill, 44, was driving the 1994 Toyota Land Cruiser when she collided with Nakamura. She was not injured.

A third vehicle, a white Ford Ranger stopped at 20th Street, was also clipped during the incident but the damage was minor and the driver uninjured. Nakamura has been cited for reckless driving.

During the investigation, police closed off 20th Street and diverted traffic. Multiple witnesses provided police with accident reports.

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