Driver held in
car-racing death

Source: The Oregonian
Date: 2001/12/31

The driver of a Ford Mustang in a Saturday night drag race in Gresham lost control and slammed into a tree, killing an 11-year-old girl in his back seat, police said.

The driver, Edgar Islas-Moran, 20, of Portland will be charged with second-degree manslaughter, Gresham police Officer Grant McCormick said.

"She was just a little angel," said a friend of the girl's family, Jan Vinsonhaler. "It's a stupid, stupid accident."

Shortly before 9 p.m. Saturday, Islas-Moran was driving along Southeast Stark Street with his girlfriend, Jennifer Pomante, 17, of Corbett beside him. Her 9-year-old brother, Adam "A.J.," and 11-year-old sister, Krystal, were in the back seat.

Islas-Moran started racing a white Honda near Southeast 212th Avenue when a pickup turned in front of them into the parking lot of Pal Joey's, McCormick said. The pickup driver thought he had plenty of time for the turn, not realizing how fast the two cars were coming, he said.

Islas-Moran's car swerved and hit a tree. Krystal was taken to OHSU Hospital, where she died about 5 a.m. of massive head and pelvic injuries. Jennifer and A.J. were released from OHSU Hospital with bumps and bruises on Sunday and were with their parents. Islas-Moran was not injured. Alcohol was not a factor, and no one else has been charged, police said.

The boyfriend used to drive the kids around all the time, wherever they needed to go, Vinsonhaler said: "He loved them like they were his own brother and sister. He's a wonderful young man."

A fifth-grader at Corbett Grade School, Krystal was an active student and athlete, playing basketball, softball and volleyball, and fishing. "She was the sweetest little girl," Vinsonhaler said.

Police are looking for the driver of the other car in the race, a white Honda with an off-color hood. The driver is in his early 20s with spiked, blond hair. McCormick said he didn't think the two drivers knew each other. Anyone with information should call 503-618-2705.

"The kids get it in their heads, who's got the faster car? And a tragedy like this happened," McCormick said.

Islas-Moran was being held in the Multnomah County Detention Center on Sunday, charged with second-degree assault. Those charges will be upgraded, police said. You can reach Michael Wilson at 503-294-7663 or by e-mail at



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