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Tangled up in his explanation

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Man is arrested after three-vehicle crash

A Gallup man has been charged with vehicular homicide after he crashed into two other cars while driving drunk.

Gallup Police Officer Christopher Dawes was called to 100 Mendoza Rd. about a three-car crash with possible injuries on Sept. 29 a little after 2:30 in the afternoon.

He met with a man who was involved in the crash, who stated that a black Hyundai was trying to turn onto Horse Find Road when it was hit by a red Jeep that he estimated to have been traveling about 75 miles an hour. The Jeep rear-ended the Hyundai, which caused it to hit the a truck.

The man from the Hyundai said that he went to confront the man in the red Jeep, and that he could smell alcohol, although the man in the Jeep said he hadn’t been drinking.

Dawes noticed a man sitting on the side of the road next to the Jeep and went to talk to him. The man was later identified as Darryl Yazzie, 53, from Gallup.

Dawes checked with Yazzie to see if he was injured. He was not hurt. He explained that he had been driving home with his friend when the accident happened.

While Dawes was questioning him, Yazzie started to stagger back toward his car and the officer asked him to stay by him. Dawes noticed that Yazzie had bloodshot, watery eyes and Yazzie confirmed that he’d had a couple beers at The Rocket Cafe an hour before.

Although he admitted to drinking, Yazzie said he hadn’t caused the accident. He told Dawes that he arrived just after it happened.

That’s when Dawes asked him what had happened to his Jeep, if he hadn’t been in the crash. Yazzie said the car that caused the crash had hit his vehicle when it turned the corner.

Dawes asked Yazzie what corner he was referring to, because the roadway they were on was straight. Dawes noted that Yazzie’s speech was slurred and he could smell alcohol.

Yazzie took and failed the Standard Field Sobriety Tests.

Officer Daniel Brown told Dawes that one of the three passengers in the Hyundai had a seizure. All of them suffered injuries and were taken to the hospital by Med Star Ambulance.

Sergeant Terrence Peyketewa advised Dawes to draft a blood warrant on Yazzie because of the severity of the crash. He took Yazzie to the Gallup Police Department and began to draft the warrant while Detective Tasheena Wilson kept an eye on Yazzie.

Peyketewa informed Dawes that the woman who had the seizure had died.

After he was taken to Rehoboth McKinley Christian Health Care Services, Yazzie was driven to the McKinley County Adult Detention Center where he was charged with one count of vehicular homicide, two counts of great bodily injury by motor vehicle, and one count of careless driving.

Staff Reports