Man indicted in fatal crash

2011-08-30T05:01:00Z Man indicted in fatal crashLARRY HENDRICKS News Team Leader Arizona Daily Sun
August 30, 2011 5:01 am  • 

A Coconino County grand jury has indicted a young Flagstaff man for recklessly causing the death of another young Flagstaff man in a car crash on Aug. 19.

According to the indictment handed down Thursday, Roberto A. Salamanca, 19, is accused of manslaughter, DUI, extreme DUI, failing to remain at the scene of a collision involving serious injury or death, underage consumption and criminal damage.

Salamanca has six prior driving citations and did not have a valid driver's license on the day of the crash.

County jail officials said Salamanca was unable prove he resided in the United States legally. He will be turned over to U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement upon the resolution of his criminal case.

The crime of manslaughter is considered a Class 2 dangerous felony, punishable upon conviction by 7 to 21 years in prison, according to state statute.

LARGE CLOUD OF SMOKE

According to police reports, the crash happened at about 11 p.m. on Aug. 19. An officer was driving past Norvel Owens Mortuary when he saw a large cloud of smoke on the north side of the road.

The officer tried to help Kyle Wible, 20, the son of a sheriff's office sergeant, who was still breathing. Wible was taken to Flagstaff Medical Center, where he was later pronounced dead.

Two witnesses to the crash reported that the driver of a Gold GMC Yukon passed at a high rate of speed -- 80 to 100 mph -- and lose control. The posted speed limit in the area is 40 mph. The SUV crashed head-on into Wible's two-door Nissan Sentra after crossing three lanes in the roadway. The driver ran away from the scene. An official estimate of the speed from the police accident reconstruction team is still pending.

The alleged driver of the SUV, Salamanca, was caught by police a short distance away after officers received a description of the driver.

HELD WITHOUT BOND

Salamanca is being held in the county jail without bond. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has put a detainer on him.

Vincent Picard, ICE spokesman, said that ICE will take custody of Salamanca following the resolution of his criminal case. He could not confirm if Salamanca is in the country illegally. Salamanca was unable to prove to county jail staff that he indeed does reside in the United States legally.

According to the Arizona Supreme Court website, Salamanca has six driving citations dating back to when he was 15 years old. He does not currently have a driver's license.

Salamanca's next court appearance will be Sept. 6 at 8:15 a.m. in Coconino County Superior Court in front of Judge Joseph Lodge.

Larry Hendricks can be reached at 556-2262 or lhendricks@azdailysun.com.

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