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Rainier woman faces long recovery after hit-and-run near Nicolai Mountain

Rainier woman faces long recovery after hit-and-run near Nicolai Mountain

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It’ll likely be a year before a Rainier woman can walk again after she was wounded when a Toledo teenager allegedly drove through a crowd last weekend, killing one and injuring several others.

Kalee Nordstrom, 22, was taken to Oregon Health and Sciences University after Kyle Snook, 17, allegedly hit her and others early Saturday morning at the Hunt Creek Rock Pit near Highway 30 and Nicolai Mountain. Robert Betschart, 23, of Rainier died and three others, including Nordstrom, were seriously hurt.

Nordstrom said Friday she got a major concussion and doesn’t remember much from that day besides laying in the gravel and being told ambulances were coming. She had emergency surgery on her right leg, which had both bones broken.

“It was definitely traumatizing,” she said in the phone interview with TDN.

Nordstrom was released from the hospital Thursday. Doctors told her she won’t be able to walk for a six to nine months. She said the hospital is looking for a physical therapist to visit her at her house a couple times a week.

Nordstrom said she was out of work because of the COVID-19 pandemic and likely won’t be able to work until she can walk again. She said she hasn’t fully processed the incident and “it’s hard to imagine right now” not being able to go outside or play with her 2-year-old son.

It was a senseless act,” Nordstrom’s mom, Dena Nordstrom, said Friday. “Parents need to be aware of where their children are at and what they are doing. He (Snook) was 17 and shouldn’t have been drinking.”

Nordstrom thanked the people who stayed with her daughter and Betschart until the ambulance and LifeFlight arrived.

“It was a senseless, violent act,” Nordstrom said. “She just kept saying, ‘I don’t understand why.’ “

According to the probable cause statement, Snook was part of a group of people camping at the rock pit, located in eastern Clatsop County. Other campers reported that he was drinking rum and smoking “dabbs” of marijuana throughout the night.

Around 4 a.m. Snook got into an argument with Gage Wilson, another camper, and was told to leave the camp area by Wilson’s friends.

At least two witnesses told police that Snook got into his car and drove through the group of people standing near it several times, according to the statement.

Snook faces charges of second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter, vehicular assault, driving while under the influence and reckless driving, according to court documents.

Clatsop County District Attorney Ron Brown this week filed to move Snook’s case from juvenile court to adult court. A judge will consider the motion after a psychological evaluation is completed.

Brown told The Daily News Thursday that Snook is about three months away from turning 18. Also, the charges are serious enough to warrant consideration in adult court, he said.

Snook is being held at the Cowlitz County Detention Facility because it’s the nearest juvenile detention center to Clatsop County. He is set to appear for a detention review hearing Aug. 5.

The Clatsop County Major Crimes Team is still investigating the incident, and the agency believes many people were at the gathering but may have left before the hit-and-run occurred or before police arrived.

Anyone with more information is asked to call Detective Justin Dersham at 503-325-8635.


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