Driver pleads guilty in Walla Walla crash that hurt passengers

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WALLA WALLA - The driver who caused a car crash that injured two passengers last fall on Bryant Avenue has pleaded guilty in Walla Walla County Superior Court.

Raphael L. Torres, 24, of Boardman, Ore., entered guilty pleas Wednesday to one count each of vehicular assault, a felony, and driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor, a gross misdemeanor.

Torres faces a standard-range jail term of six months to a year when he's sentenced later. The prosecution is recommending the low end of that range. Under a plea agreement, Torres may ask for conversion of jail time to less than full confinement.

Torres was speeding west in the 100 block of Bryant Avenue at about 2:35 a.m. Nov. 13 when the 1998 Chevrolet Malibu collided with a planting strip, knocked over a lighting standard, went over a sidewalk and crashed into a tree, according to a police report filed in court.

His passengers, Jesus Carillo, 23, and Christian Garcia, 13, both of Hermiston, reportedly suffered various broken bones.

According to results of a blood draw taken from Torres, his blood-alcohol level was 0.14, the police report says. That's over the legal limit of 0.08.

Torres initially was accused of two counts of vehicular assault, but the case was reduced in exchange for his guilty pleas.

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