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Hit-and-Run Driver in Salem Fatal Pedestrian Accident Turns Himself In

Location: 47th Avenue NE, Northeast Salem
Names: Morales Singer, Jake Montano

A 19-year-old man who had been sought in an Oregon hit-run fatality, finally turned himself in to police, according to The Oregonian.

On Wednesday January 26 at about 11:30pm, Morales Singer, age 37 of Salem and a father of three, was struck and killed as he walked on a foggy night along a poorly lit section of 47th Avenue NE. Marion County Sheriff’s deputies found Singer lying in the street near Edwin Court NE, and he was pronounced deceased at the scene. Singer had been walking home from Shooter’s Café & Saloon on Silverton Road, and he was wearing a light-colored shirt and tan shorts.

When deputies arrived on the scene, the car and driver that struck Singer were gone. Police put out the word that the suspect vehicle appeared to have sustained damage to the windshield, right front and side, hood, right front headlight and was also missing a right side mirror. A heavy media blitz followed, and within days the police had recovered a suspect black 1990 Honda Accord that had been taken to a Salem business for repairs of obvious damage.

On Tuesday evening February 1, accompanied by his girlfriend, Jake Montano, age 19 of Salem, turned himself in to Marion County Sheriff’s deputies. Montano admitted that he was driving the Honda Accord that struck and killed Singer, and that he was reading a cell phone text message while he was driving. When he looked up, Singer was crossing the street. Montano said he swerved to avoid Singer, but Singer jumped in the same direction and the car struck him. Montano said that he was driving about 45mph before striking Singer, and that he fled after the collision and tried to destroy evidence by taking his car in for repairs. Montano told officers that he had been planning to turn himself in and knew that there was nowhere to hide after heavy media coverage continued.

Montano was being held without bail on charges of first-degree manslaughter and felony failure to perform the duties of a driver. He has previous convictions for eluding police officers and unlawful entry into a motor vehicle.

Our thoughts go out to the entire Singer family, especially to his children who are left without a father because of this terrible tragedy. We hope that they will receive the help and support they need in the aftermath of this life-altering event.

Hit-and-run is a serious violation of Oregon Vehicle Code 811.705. The hit-and-run driver must be held civilly and criminally responsible for his actions. In a case like this, the Singer family may be well advised to contact a reputed Oregon personal injury attorney with experience in hit-and-run crashes who will fight for the justice and compensation that they deserve. At DuBois Law Group, we believe that what happened to Mr. Singer is simply unacceptable; we are committed to making sure that hit-and-run drivers are held accountable for their actions and that both victims and families receive the compensation they deserve.

It is also a reminder of the tragic consequences that can happen when a driver allows a cell phone to distract his driving. If you are suffering because of a car accident, whatever the circumstances, we can provide answers to your questions if you contact us.