VALE – Shoulder to shoulder, parishioners lined every pew at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Vale on a Friday in January to mourn Marcelina Flores Piedra.
Flores Piedra, 58, was found Jan. 21 pinned underneath the passenger side door of her vehicle. The death was ruled an accident, according to the Malheur County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies received a call at about 8 p.m. the evening of Flores Piedra’s death. They found a vehicle off the road at Clark Boulevard and Onion Avenue. It had just left the roadway and was stopped on an embankment. Attempts to revive Piedra were unsuccessful.
An investigation by several law enforcement agencies revealed that the vehicle, a 2002 maroon Dodge Stratus owned by the victim, was not fully engaged in park.
“It was believed the vehicle was in park,” said Malheur County Sheriff Brian Wolfe. “Even though the selector was in park, this particular vehicle sometimes does not fully engage in park.”
Wolfe said the investigators looked at whether the emergency brake worked.
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“In most cars, if it’s in reverse, an emergency brake won’t hold it,” Wolfe said.
Wolfe said Oregon State Police came in with a crime lab to help the Sheriff’s Office process the car. Detectives from the Sheriff’s Office and Ontario Police Department, as well as state police worked on the case. Treasure Valley Paramedics responded.
Flores Piedra was known in the community as “Doña Marce.”
She cleaned homes and babysat children for a living.
Condolence messages online described her as a beloved babysitter and mother figure to locals in Vale.
Flores Piedra was an active member of St. Patrick Catholic Church.
News tip? Reporter Yadira Lopez: [email protected]
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