Man now charged with vehicular manslaughter after fatal crash in April
IDAHO FALLS — A 38-year-old Lewisville man has been charged with felony vehicular manslaughter after allegedly driving drunk and killing another man.
The incident happened in April, but the case was filed against Stephen Douglas Vance on Nov. 15.
According to the affidavit of probable cause filed by the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office, on April 29 after 7:30 p.m., deputies were dispatched to the 9000 North block of North River Road for a fatal crash.
A deputy saw a black 2015 Buick Verano on the west side of the road. EMS personnel said the driver of the vehicle was trapped inside and had died. The driver of the vehicle was identified as 37-year-old Juan Silerio.
To the north of the Buick was a white 2004 Chevrolet Silverado. The driver was identified as Vance. Vance appeared to have a hurt ankle and blood running down his face, documents said.
“Before I spoke to Stephen, I could immediately smell the odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from his person. Stephen told me that he was heading home from work,” a deputy wrote.
Vance reportedly told the deputy that he saw a dog and attempted to avoid hitting it. He said he swerved into the southbound lane.
When Vance was asked how much he had to drink, he looked down and shook his head no, according to documents.
While shaking his head, Vance said, “just heading home from work.”
The deputy told Vance that he smelled like alcohol, and he said, “I get that.” Vance agreed to a blood draw when he got to the hospital.
Deputies interviewed two witnesses, and one said he saw the white Chevrolet pass him and was driving at a high rate of speed. The other witness said she saw the white Chevrolet swerve off the road before re-entering and colliding with the other vehicle.
Silerio’s body had to be extricated by fire personnel. The deputy wrote that he did not see a seatbelt on him.
Court documents say that Vance did unlawfully, but without malice, kill Silerio by operating a vehicle while having a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more, which caused Silerio’s death.
EastIdahoNews.com had previously interviewed Maria Alvarez, a friend of the Silerio family, back in May. Alvarez spoke on behalf of Teresa Silerio, who is Juan Silerio’s mother because she does not speak English fluently. At the time, it had only been 24 hours since Teresa laid her other son to rest when she got the news that Juan had just been killed. Click here to read the previous story.
Family members said Juan had gone to Idaho Falls from Roberts to get some food for his mom on April 29. When Juan left around 7:10 p.m., Teresa had no idea that would be the last time she would talk to him. He died instantly in the crash 20 minutes later.
After several hours, Teresa wondered what was taking so long.
“It was 11:30 p.m. when a cop came and knocked on the door to deliver the news (that Juan had been killed in a crash),” Alvarez said in the interview. “She didn’t want to believe it.”
An arrest warrant for Vance was served on Friday. He was given a $50,000 bond and has since posted it. The felony is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and/or a $15,000 fine.
Vance is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Dec. 7 at 1 p.m. at the Bonneville County courthouse.