WHP: All involved in pedestrian-vs.-vehicle crash suspected of alcohol use

Ethan Perez (courtesy of the Natrona County Sheriff’s Office)

CASPER, Wyo. — Wyoming Highway Patrol Troopers say that all three people involved in a vehicle on pedestrian crash; the driver, the passenger, and the victim; are suspected of being under the influence of alcohol at the time of the incident.

One suspect has been arrested in the case, court records identify the man as the driver of a minivan that struck the pedestrian. 29-year-old Ethan Perez faces a felony charge of Driving While Under the Influence With Serious Bodily Injury.

If convicted of the charge, Perez could potentially face imprisonment for not more than ten years, a fine of not less than 2,000 nor more than $5,000, or both.

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An affidavit filed in the case says that Perez, himself, was the one who called 911 immediately after the incident. Natrona County Sheriff’s Deputies say that Perez had told dispatch that he had been drinking, had hit a pedestrian, and stated that he “smoked him.”

Natrona County Sheriff’s Deputies, Wyoming Highway Patrol Troopers, and Mills Police Officers all responded to the scene of the crash, on the Highway 20-26 frontage road, between 6 Mile Road and the 6600 block of West Yellowstone Highway, in Narona County.

Perez is reported to have told officers that he and the passenger had been drinking at a bar, and decided to go home after Perez reported being “buzzed.” He further indicated that between he and the passenger, Perez believed he was the least drunk of the two and chose to drive.

The affidavit goes on to report that Perez told deputies that while travelling on the frontage road, he observed a mal in the roadway. He went on to describe that the male was walking at an angle, as if he were attempting to cross the road. Perez said that he tried to avoid striking the man but was unable to.

Perez reported stopping the van, checking on the man, and calling 911.

The victim was identified in court paperwork as an adult male. Upon arrival, multiple medical and emergency personnel found the adult male unconscious and with “an obvious significant break to his left lower leg.”

During an interview with Oil City News, Wyoming Highway Patrol officials said that all three people involved in the incident were suspected of being impaired by alcohol consumption. It is also reported that the victim was well into the roadway when struck.

In the affidavit it is said that the adult man was reported to have a fractured leg, multiple fractured ribs, and multiple skull fractures. The NCSO affidavit goes on to indicate that the man’s “prognosis for recovery was poor.”

State Troopers said that at last report, the victim was still alive at an area hospital, but further indicated that they had not received an update from medical staff in some time.

Following a field sobriety test, Perez was transported to the Natrona County Detention Center, where a breath test was administered. The affidavit says that Perez advised deputies that he felt like his blood alcohol concentration would be at approximately .10. Deputies then say that Perez provided two breath samples with a BAC result indicating .107.

All of those cited or arrested are presumed innocent until convicted in a court of law. Charges are subject to change following official filings from the Natrona County District Attorney’s Office.