Albuquerque, NM (March 8, 2019) – New Mexico State police put a man behind bars after he struck an elderly man near Gallup Tuesday evening.
The driver was under the influence of marijuana and the crash was fatal for the elderly man.
State Police are charging Frank Jiron, 39, with an aggravated DWI resulting in death of Tommy Mariano, 85, and leaving the scene of an accident causing death.
Jiron is currently in McKinley County Detention Center.
The crash occurred around 7:00 p.m. Tuesday on the NM 188, just east of Gallup. It is not clear why Mariano was in the road during the crash. Jiron was driving with several others in his vehicle to pick up a family member at Fire Rock Navajo Casino.
When Jiron was with police, he said he saw a flash and heard a crashing sound, but he didn’t see anything in the roadway. Police say the passengers of the vehicle were drinking and there were open containers near the vehicle.
Jiron told officers he did bot have anything to drink, but he did smoke pot prior to the crash. He also told police he takes two antidepressants, Zoloft and Clonidine. These medications help treat high-blood pressure. Officials took Jiron to the hospital after having a panic attack upon learning he fatally struck Mariano.
Officers wrote that Jiron was unable to stand still. He was also pacing back and forth and was extremely talkative without a sense of direction.
According to the complaint with Magistrate Court, Jiron did pass an alcohol breathalyzer test and a drug recognition officer he was under the influence of marijuana. Police also drew Jiron’s blood for further tests and took him to a nearby jail.
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Source: Albuquerque Journal
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