Cook arrested for Christmas Day crash

By on Thursday, March 21st, 2024 in Columbia Basin News More Top Stories

UMATILLA COUNTY – Raileen Erin Cook, 23, has been arrested by the Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office, for her actions in the fatal Christmas Day crash outside Hermiston. She faces charges of second-degree manslaughter, six counts of third-degree assault, one count of driving under the influence, one count of reckless driving, and three counts of reckless endangering.

The arrest was the result of a secret grand jury indictment served by the sheriff’s office. UCSO Capt. Sterrin Ward said the warrant was served and Cook was taken into custody at around 11 a.m. Wednesday at her grandparents’ residence.

The three-vehicle crash occurred on Umatilla River Road near Cooney Lane. Nine people were hospitalized, seven suffering from critical injuries. Two of the critically injured were under the age of 10.

At the time of the crash, the preliminary investigation revealed that a vehicle allegedly driven by Cook was traveling southbound and struck a northbound car at a high rate of speed. After that crash, a third southbound vehicle struck the second vehicle while trying to avoid Cook’s vehicle.