Breaking News: 02-10-05
2001 ~ 2007

From the Modoc County Record ~February 10, 2005 ~

Runaways from Warner group home die in crash

Two of four teenagers who ran away from the Warner Mountains Group Home in Canby Saturday, were killed in a single vehicle crash on Lake of the Woods Highway in Oregon early Sunday morning. One of the others is in critical condition and another is in fair condition.

Killed in the accident were Zachary Keith DeLong, age 15, and Travis Michael Boswell, age 17. Peter Torri-Ezikiel Mejia, age 14, was in critical condition at Rogue Valley Medical Center in Medford. The driver of the 1988 Acura was 16-year-old Michael Demean, who was in fair condition.

According to Modoc County Undersheriff Mark Gentry, his office was called by the group home about 10 p.m. Saturday night to report a juvenile missing, and two other calls came in to report the others missing soon after.

The teenagers were from various counties in the state and had been placed at the group home, which Gentry describes as a half-way house where they are not kept under lock and key. He said the juveniles are generally wards of the court.

Officials suspect the "escape" was probably pre-planned and are investigating the overall incident. Gentry said in most cases the runaways are found and brought back soon after they leave, especially in the winter. It's unusual for one of the group home residents to have access to a vehicle. Gentry said an alert went out to Northern California and Southern Oregon law enforcement agencies. Unfortunately, the accident happened before the teenagers were found.

According to police reports, Demean was driving on Oregon Highway 140 when he lost control of the car on a curve about 2 a.m. Sunday morning. The vehicle hit an embankment and rolled.

RELATED STORIES:

Teen hospitalized with critical injuries

Teen gets NO jail-time



Runaway Girls from Warner Mountain Group Home steal van, caught in Burney, CA.

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