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News / Clark County News

Battle Ground teen killed in Christmas crash

By Craig Brown, Columbian Editor
Published: December 25, 2016, 2:27pm

A 16-year-old Battle Ground boy was killed Christmas morning in a car crash that occurred after an evening of singing Christmas carols.

Samuel Chiriac was a passenger in a car being driven by a church friend when it ran off Mount Scott Boulevard in Portland and plunged down an embankment, according to a news release from the Portland Police Bureau.

Chiriac was one of five teenage boys who were traveling in a Volkswagen Cabriolet from Happy Valley, Ore., to Wilsonville, Ore.

Three cars were traveling in a caravan when the accident occurred about 1:50 a.m. Sunday. Seba Pop, 17, of West Linn, Ore., was driving the Volkswagen and passed one of his friends in the oncoming lane, but then missed a sharp corner in the dense fog.

Pop was listed in critical condition Sunday afternoon at a Portland hospital, having suffered life-threatening injuries.

Also seriously injured in the crash were Caleb Pop, 15, also of West Linn, and Timothy Posteucha, 17, of Portland. Both are expected to recover, police said.

The fifth person in the Volkswagen, Johnny Cristurean, 14, of Wood Village, Ore., was not injured.

Police said the five boys are members of a choir from a Southeast Portland Romanian Church. They had been traveling between church members’ houses, singing Christmas carols. There was no indication of any impairment, police said.

According to Columbian archives, Chiriac attended Captain Strong Elementary School, Pacific Middle School and Ridgefield High School, where he was on the honor roll last year.

Chiriac was the 43rd person to be killed in a traffic accident in Portland this year.