Two boys escaped serious injury after a car crashed into them Thursday night in Hermiston.

The boys, sharing one bicycle, were on their way home from a friend’s house about 8:25 p.m. when a Chevrolet Malibu struck them from behind at the intersection of West Division and Southwest 10th.

The driver, Alden Jemmett, 28, hurriedly told the boys he would replace the bicycle the next day and took the bike with him. The boys, ages 10 and 12, walked several more blocks to their neighborhood on foot.

A later evaluation at Good Shepherd Hospital revealed minor injuries.

Hermiston Police later arrested Jemmett for failure to perform the duties of a driver to injured persons. Jemmett was processed at the Hermiston Police Department and later lodged at the Umatilla County Jail.

The mother of one of the boys reported the incident to police, worrying that the bike had been stolen. Police found the concern unfounded.

“Jemmett initially stopped to check on the duo, but left to go to a meeting after promising to replace the bicycle the following morning,” said Acting Hermiston Police Chief Jason Edmiston. “Mr. Jemmett did provide some information to the juveniles with regard to his name, but not as required by law.”

Edmiston said responding officers didn’t believe Jemmett acted with malice.

“Oregon statute however is very clear with regard to what a driver is supposed to do in the event of a crash,” he said. “For this matter, Mr. Jemmett should have notified the police to investigate the matter at the time of the crash.”

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