Washington man arrested for Halloween crash that killed 7-year-old girl

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Cadence Boyer, 7, of Vancouver, Wash., in her pink Batman costume for Halloween. She was killed when a driver jumped a curb and plowed into her and other trick-or-treaters. (Photo provided by family to KPTV/Portland)

VANCOUVER, Wash. — A Vancouver, Wash., man accused of slamming his car into a group of trick-or-treaters, killing a 7-year-old girl and critically injuring a 6-year-old and an adult, was booked into jail Monday on charges of vehicular homicide and vehicular assault, KPTV reported.

Police said Duane Abbott, 47, of Vancouver, drove over a curb and hit a group of people at 8:15 p.m. on Halloween near Northeast 112th Avenue and 39th Street in Vancouver.

Two adults and two girls were struck. Seven-year-old Cadence Boyer died at the hospital on Sunday.

Her mother, 32-year-old Annie Arnold, suffered non-life-threatening injuries. A second adult, 30-year-old Chelina Alsteen, remained in critical condition on Monday.

A second girl, who is 6 years old and has not been identified, also suffered critical injuries in the crash.

In a letter sent home to Orchards Elementary School families, administrators said the girl is showing signs of improvement.

Cadence was a second-grader at the same school.

According to KPTV (FOX 12 News) in Portland, Cadence’s father, Kevin Boyer Jr., said on Monday that his last memory of his little girl was seeing her in her pink Batman suit on Halloween.

He later rushed to the scene of the crash and said it was like a nightmare.

“I get there and I’m looking and I look straight down and I see my daughter, she’s laying there not moving and there’s blood coming out of her nose,” he said. “They said she wasn’t breathing and I kept trying to grab her and they wouldn’t let me near her.”

Police said Abbott was impaired at the time of the crash, but investigators have not yet elaborated further as the investigation continues.

A friend of Abbott told FOX 12, “He’s a good guy overall and he has a good heart, he’s just got a lot of problems. And he needs help.”

Kevin Boyer said his life was all about his daughter from the second she woke up each day. Other close friends and family members said she was their little princess.

“Duane Abbott took a piece of my heart, of my family’s heart, and I will never get that piece of heart back,” said Cathy Boyer, Cadence’s grandmother.

Abbott is scheduled to make his first court appearance Tuesday morning.

According to court records, Abbott has multiple criminal convictions dating back to 1985, including operating a vehicle without a license or insurance in 2008 and possession of methamphetamine in 2011.

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  • Skip

    What an awful collection of crimes against children news stories today. This driver should have been off the road a long time ago. It appears the courts have given Mr. Abbott too many second chances.

  • Eddie Monaghan

    In 1984 I was ran over by a car, the man admitted to doing so on purpose. He hit my friend also, but I was completely ran over. I shouldn’t have lived. The man was seen by neighbors who threw a big rock through the guys car window and then dragged him out of that very window. His excuse? “Kids should be kept in cages in the back yard”. He never saw the inside of a jail cell for it. Well, I did live. And the doctors told me I’d never walk again, but 6 months after being ran over, I walked again. In fact, I played football my sophomore year in High School. BECAUSE of this man who ran me over, I was afraid of cars until I was 22! Only THEN, and with a lot of patience from my Team Leader in the army, I finally got my license. In my opinion, this man should never have freedom again. This man in this article. Nor should any like him. When you plow into kids you’re NOT “And all around great guy with some problems”, you’re a freakin SOCIOPATH who should feel LUCKY that girls father didn’t kill him! Today I worry SO much about my kids. I can’t relax when they play out front, riding bikes like every normal kid in America ought to be doing. I’m on pins and needles the whole time and my heart stops at every screech, even though in my mind I know they’re merely playing and being loud as kids are apt to do. Because every time I hear them squealing and yelling like kids playing do I can’t separate that sound from sounds of terror and pain. Throw this murderer in the slammer. Please.

    • Coral

      An honest accident? How is driving under the influence an honest accident! This ass hole needs to spend life behind bars without parole. He took the life of an innocent little girl, the parents need justice! He is a menace to society!

  • Sara Cowan

    He killed someone he has to do the time. He has tragically taken someone’s life and he will be sorry I’m sure but still needs to be locked up.

  • s barnett

    He is a punk. He tried to deal drugs to me at a bus stop when I was in junior high back in 1984. My older brother put a beating on him next time he came pushing his drugs in the neighborhood.

  • Adam

    I wish i could tell the family how sorry I am for then to have to deal with this pain in their life, it’s unimaginable to me. It’s such a sad story that has really hit me hard here at home. I only wish the best for the family. Try to stay strong.