LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A Metro police officer responding to the scene of a crash just before 2 a.m. Saturday spotted an oncoming vehicle fleeing the scene and pursued the vehicle in east Las Vegas, eventually arresting the driver on a DUI charge.
The crash at E. Cheyenne Avenue and N. Lamb Boulevard involved a silver Dodge Durango SUV and two people on a Harley Davidson motorcycle. The man and woman on the motorcycle were seriously injured in the crash.
An arrest report indicates the officer spotted the SUV southbound on Lamb as he was headed northbound toward the scene of the crash. When he recognized the vehicle from radio traffic describing the SUV, he made a u-turn and tried to pull over the driver.
The driver saw the patrol car and accelerated through a red light at Lake Mead Boulevard, according to the arrest report. He continued south on Lamb and turned east onto Kell Lane, nearly two miles south of the scene of the crash.
The officer pulled around the Durango before the driver stopped.
Javier Hernandez, 28, was arrested and charged with two counts of DUI resulting in substantial bodily harm, two counts of duty to stop at the scene of an accident involving injury, and failing to obey a red light.
Hernandez told officers that he was struck by another vehicle and the collision was the other driver’s fault, according to the arrest report. But witness accounts indicated that the Dodge Durango went through the intersection at Cheyenne at Lamb on a red light when it collided with the motorcycle. The SUV was southbound on Lamb, and the motorcycle was eastbound on Cheyenne.
The motorcyclist, identified as Pernelle Watkins, 36, was taken to UMC Trauma with life-threatening injuries including multiple brain bleeds, a “displaced stomach” and a broken leg. His passenger, Chimere Mazique, 40, was treated for lacerations to her head and pain in her lower back and lower extremities.
Further investigation revealed that Hernandez had a passenger at the time of the crash.
The passenger, identified as Rafael Vasquez, was getting a ride home from Hernandez, who dropped him off just south of the Cheyenne. Vasquez returned to the crash site and cooperated with the investigation, according to the arrest report.
Hernandez was given a field sobriety test, and a warrant for blood samples was obtained. Hernandez was taken to UMC, where he was examined and blood was drawn. The results of the test are awaiting toxicology.