Salem Man Arrested After Pedestrian Killed in Early Morning Hit and Run

At just after 2:00 a.m. on December 25th, 2021, a 911 caller reported a pedestrian had been struck by a car on Lancaster Drive NE near Ward Drive NE in the unincorporated area of east Salem. When deputies arrived at the scene, they learned a red Honda Civic had left the area at a high rate of speed. There was evidence at the scene the victim had sustained serious injuries and likely did not survive the collision.  

Investigators from the Marion County multi-agency Crash Team were called out to process the crash scene. Lancaster Drive was closed between Iberis Street NE and Hayesville Drive NE for four hours during the investigation.

At close to 3:30 a.m., a caller reported a red Honda Civic with a deceased person inside several miles away near Wheatland Road NE and Brooklake Road NE, north of Keizer. Investigators were able to determine the deceased adult male inside was the pedestrian victim from the earlier crash.

Through the investigation, deputies identified Armando Rodarte Jr. (26) of Salem as the driver of the Honda Civic. Deputies located Rodarte shortly after 6:00 a.m. walking on Devonshire Ct NE, in Salem, and were able to take him into custody without incident. He has been lodged at the Marion County Jail on the following charges:

  • Manslaughter in the First Degree
  • Manslaughter in the Second Degree
  • Hit and Run – Injury
  • Reckless Driving
  • Reckless Endangerment

Rodarte is scheduled to appear at the Marion County Circuit Court annex for arraignment on Monday, December 27, 2021, at 2:30 p.m. 

The victim has not yet been identified. This is an ongoing investigation; no additional information is available for release at this time.

If anyone has information about this incident, they are being asked to contact Detective Jessica Van Horn at 503-584-6211, by email, or to submit a tip by texting keyword TIPMCSO and their tip to 847411.

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by multiple agencies during this incident, including the Keizer Police Department, Marion County District Attorney’s Office, Marion County Fire District #1, Marion County Medical Examiner’s Office, Marion County Public Works, Salem Police Department, and the Willamette Valley Communications Center.