Arizona Man Arrested for Vehicular Homicide After Highway Crash

Arizona Man Arrested for Vehicular Homicide After Highway CrashA man from Arizona has been arrested by the New Mexico State Police and charged with homicide by vehicle, leaving the scene of an accident causing death and other allegations after a dangerous car accident on Thursday, January 26, the Silver City Sun-News reports.

According to the news source, the accident occurred on Highway 356 at about 10:30 p.m. near Hanover. Lieutenant Robert McDonald of the state police stated that 23-year-old driver Jeffrey Nava of Mesa, Arizona, was arrested in his hometown after allegedly leaving the scene of the accident where passenger Fernando Gonzales was found dead.

McDonald stated a witness told police about the accident, and that he had made contact with the suspect. The witness offered to call 911, but the suspect told him he had already done so and asked him to not call the police.

The witness called the police anyway, but by the time deputies arrived at the scene, the suspect had allegedly fled, leaving Gonzales dead under the left rear tire of the truck. The witness then picked the man out of a photo lineup, identifying him as Nava. McDonald stated the police then issued a warrant for Nava’s arrest on Friday, but he was not picked up until later in the weekend.

Reports from the Maricopa County Jail show that Nava was arrested at a hospital in Arizona at 4 p.m. on Sunday, January 29, and released on bail on Tuesday, January 31.

The affidavit for arrest claims that Nava had been consuming alcohol in the hours prior to the crash, and that Bud Light bottles were found on the ground at the crash site. The witness told police the man appeared to be “extremely intoxicated” as he was speaking with him shortly after the crash.

Nava is now facing charges of homicide by vehicle, a third-degree felony, as well as fleeing the scene of an accident, a fourth-degree felony. He was also cited for reckless driving and driving with an expired registration and without insurance.

A court date for his arraignment in Magistrate Court was not made available to the public.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, crash-related death costs in New Mexico average $435 million every year. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading killers of children, teens and young adults and are among the top ten causes of death for any age.