New details about fatal Jefferson County crash that led to vehicular manslaughter charge - East Idaho News

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New details about fatal Jefferson County crash that led to vehicular manslaughter charge

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RIGBY — Newly released court documents detail what happened the day of a deadly crash in Jefferson County. The documents also provide more context about why a Washington man was arrested for allegedly causing the fatal crash.

Alonso Hernandez-Garcia, 19, of Mattawa, Washington, has been charged with felony vehicular manslaughter.

Court documents show on Friday, Aug. 11, just after 12:30 p.m., Hernandez-Garcia was driving east on U.S. Highway 20 when he lost control of his vehicle — a gray 2012 Honda Accord. He drove through the median and into westbound traffic, crashing head-on into a white 2007 Nissan Murano, according to Idaho State Police. This happened by mile-marker 320 near the south Rigby exit.

RELATED | Driver arrested, charged with vehicular manslaughter for US-20 crash

The driver of the Nissan, Broc Wade Stoddard, 22, of Rexburg, died at the scene of the crash.

RELATED | Man killed in Friday’s crash on US 20 identified

According to an affidavit of probable cause filed by Idaho State Police, a state trooper that arrived on the scene described seeing two cars off the right side of the road. The Honda Accord was on its roof. The Nissan Murano was upright in a ditch.

Stoddard’s passenger — a 24-year-old Rigby woman — had been transported to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls with significant injuries. She was then later transported to the University of Utah. She had an aortic tear, a crushed skull, a brain bleed, a broken back, and an open pelvic fracture, court documents said. Her current condition is unknown.

rigby crash 1
The scene of the crash on Aug. 11. | Courtesy Cole Norsworthy

A witness of the crash told the trooper the Honda had passed her traveling eastbound on US-20 at speeds over 90 mph. Court documents said the speed limit in the area is 70 mph. The witness said the Honda was “swerving in and out of traffic,” and “they almost rear-ended us before he swerved into the other lane to pass.”

Another witness traveling eastbound in the left-hand lane told the trooper she was about to pass a semi when the Honda passed her on the right at a high rate of speed and tried to make a lane change into the left lane in front of her.

The witness said there was “not even a car length” between her and the semi when the Honda moved into the left lane, forcing her to hit the brakes to avoid a collision.

The Honda moved into the left lane, narrowly missing the semi and her, she said. Hernandez-Garcia then swerved his vehicle right, almost hit the semi and swerved back left and lost control of his car, according to the witness.

According to evidence on the road and witness statements, “the Honda failed to maintain its designated lane by going through the median and into oncoming eastbound traffic,” court documents said. That’s when the Honda impacted the Nissan, causing the fatality.

Hernandez-Garcia was transported to EIRMC and had a broken ankle and shoulder injury.

A few days after the crash, an arrest warrant was issued by the Jefferson County Court. After being released from medical treatment, the warrant was served and Hernandez-Garcia was booked into the Jefferson County Jail, according to a news release from ISP.

Hernandez-Garcia was given a $100,000 bond and had an initial court appearance on Monday.

EastIdahoNews.com reached out to the public defenders office to get Hernandez-Garcia’s side of the story. Defense attorney John Stosich said he had not had the opportunity to confer with his client on the case yet. If we get a statement this article will be updated.

Hernandez-Garcia is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Aug. 31 at 1:30 p.m. at the Jefferson County courthouse.

The charge is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a $10,000 fine and a $5,000 compensatory fine.

Though Hernandez-Garcia has been charged with this crime, it does not necessarily mean he committed it. Everyone is presumed innocent until they are proven guilty.

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