Docs: Racing cousins ‘being dumb’ face homicide

Linda Johnston died at the scene

Jose Lara, left, Oswaldo Reyes, Dec. 4, 2015 (Multnomah County Sheriff's Office)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) -– A witness told police that two vehicles passed him going about 80 miles per hour shortly before they crashed, killing a woman driving a third vehicle, court documents obtained by KOIN 6 News revealed.

Linda Johnston was turning onto SE Stark from 160th Avenue when she collided with one car and then was hit by a second car. Johnston was pinned inside her 2001 Toyota and died at the scene. She was 65.

The speed limit in that area is 35 miles per hour.

Jose David Lara and Oswald Alexander Reyes were both charged with one count of criminally negligent homicide.

One of the vehicles involved in a deadly crash in SE Portlnd (Dec. 4, 2015).
One of the vehicles involved in a deadly crash in SE Portlnd (Dec. 4, 2015).

The Portland Police Bureau’s Major Crash Team responded at 6:43 a.m. on December 4 to the intersection of SE Stark and 160th.

According to the affidavit, a witness to the crash told police he had been driving on SE Stark Street when he was passed by Lara’s and Reyes’ vehicles. The two vehicles were travelling side-by-side. Johnston’s car was hit when she was pulling out to turn west onto SE Stark Street.

Both Lara, 18, and Reyes, 27, remained on scene and spoke with police. Lara told officers that he spotted his cousin, Reyes, at the intersection of Stark and 122nd. Lara told police that they both turned onto Stark and admitted he was, in fact, “racing” with his cousin, records show.

Lara then admitted that he and his cousin were “just being dumb,” according to court documents. He also admitted to driving anywhere from 60-70 miles per hour moments before the crash.

Both appeared in court on Monday and plead not guilty.

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