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DUI suspect was going 140 in 45 mph zone before deadly crash, police say

Updated March 29, 2024 - 7:06 pm

A motorist was impaired and speeding nearly 100 mph over the limit seconds before he caused a two-car crash in northeast Las Vegas that killed a man and critically injured the suspect’s passenger, according to the Metropolitan Police Department.

Police wrote in an arrest report that Charlie Hernandez’s Dodge Challenger was going 140 mph nearly three seconds before impacting a Hyundai sedan in the early morning hours on March 22 at Las Vegas Boulevard North and Walnut Road.

Investigators determined that the Charger had decelerated to 127 mph moments before impact, said police, noting that the speed limit on that road is 45 mph.

The Hyundai’s driver, who died at University Medical Center, was identified as Luciano Chavez Y Chavez, 38.

Hernandez was booked into the Clark County Detention Center on one count each of DUI causing death and DUI causing substantial bodily harm, and two counts of reckless driving, records show.

He has since been released on a $50,000 bond with the condition that he doesn’t get behind the wheel, according to Las Vegas Justice Court records.

A preliminary hearing was set for May 28, records show.

Police said the Challenger was southbound on the boulevard when he struck the Hyundai Accent — which was turning from Walnut — causing it to split in two.

Hernandez’s passenger, who also was taken to UMC, had to be freed from the wrecked Challenger.

Police said Hernandez smelled of alcohol. In an interview from jail, he told police he could not “recall how he got into the Challenger and was confused when asked where he was driving and what road he was driving on,” according to the arrest report.

Hernandez said he had been drinking at a friend’s house before the crash, according to police.

Contact Ricardo Torres-Cortez at rtorres@reviewjournal.com.

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