Springfield Police say the initial investigation into Sunday's accident that killed three children and injured their mother, may have been caused by the driver running a red light.
A makeshift memorial sits near the site of the accident at 54th and Main Street. Springfield Police Sergeant Rich Charboneau says the investigation indicates the children and their mother had the right of way and were in the marked crosswalk.
Sgt. Charboneau: "The people were walking with the signal and the vehicle went through a red light, but again we are still checking. At this time we are still talking to witnesses. We have been in contact with the driver, who is being cooperative. And when the investigation is finished, then that information will be forwarded to the Lane County District Attorney's Office for a final decision on which, if any, charges should be filed."
Sgt. Charboneau says the driver is 68-year-old Larry James La Thorpe. His toxicology report is pending.
The children who died at the scene are 8-year-old John Day, 5-year-old McKenzie Hudson and 4-year-old Tyler Hudson. Their mother, 26-year-old Cortney Jean Hudson was in critical condition after the accident, but police say she has stabilized.
Springfield Police say it will step up patrols which will focus on accident causing violations including yellow/red light violations, failure to yield to pedestrians in the cross walk and speeding.
Springfield Mayor Christine Lundberg issued a statement that the City Council has long recognized the need for improved safety along the Main Street Corridor and over the last several years has actively worked on long term solutions – including four new pedestrian crossings. The mayor added they will look at short term options for ensuring driver and pedestrian safety.
A family member has launched a fundraising effort to help with medical and funeral expenses. About $25,000 of the $30,000 goal has been raised so far on the GoFundMe site.