Tragedy struck as a hit-and-run crash left two people with life-threatening injuries early Sunday morning. Occurring on Paradise Road and Karen Avenue, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police arrived at the scene of the crash around 3 a.m. on August 1.
Upon investigation, the police saw a red 2015 Chrysler 300 sedan speed northbound on Paradise approaching Karen. The front of the Chrysler hit the passenger side of a silver 2012 Ford Fusion that was traveling southbound on Paradise, aiming to turn left onto Karen.
All five passengers of the Ford were taken to Sunrise Hospital, where two passengers from Illinois, a 28-year-old man and a 33-year-old woman, remain in critical condition.
The driver of the Chrysler, now identified as 27-year-old Nicolas Raygoza, fled the scene but was soon apprehended by LVMPD. Raygoza, who sustained minor injuries, was booked into the Clark County Detention Center and is facing DUI and hit-and-run charges. He is expected in court on Monday, August 2, on two charges of DUI resulting in substantial bodily harm, two charges of reckless driving resulting in death or substantial bodily harm, two charges of leaving the scene of the crash, and one charge for driving without a license.
A surety bail bond, which is the amount of money in cash or property set to ensure the arrested person attends all required court appearances, is currently estimated at $11,000.
Raygoza’s two counts of DUI resulting in substantial bodily harm is a felony charge in Nevada. The charge for DUI causing serious bodily harm or death is a category “B” felony in Nevada, which is the second most severe level of felony in Nevada law.
Such a crime is punishable by imprisonment in the Nevada State Prison system for a minimum term of 2 years and a maximum term of 20 years. It also carries a fine of between $2,000.00 to $5,000.00. A DUI causing substantial bodily harm or death charge is a non-probational offense, meaning if Raygoza is found guilty, he faces prison time.
With regards to Raygoza’s reckless driving resulting in death or substantial bodily harm charges, he could potentially face 1 to 6 years in prison and $2,000 to $5,000 in fines. Nevada law under NRS 484B.653 defines reckless driving as operating a vehicle with willful or wanton disregard of the safety of persons or property. Reckless driving is a misdemeanor crime, however, if death or bodily harm results, it becomes a category “B” felony.
If Raygoza is convicted for his two charges of leaving the scene of the crash, he faces 2 to 20 years in prison and $2,000 to $5,000 in fines. While a hit-and-run that only causes property damage is a misdemeanor in Nevada, if someone is injured or killed, fleeing the scene of an accident becomes a category “B” felony.
Finally, on his charge of driving without a license, Raygoza could face up to 6 months in jail and up to $1,000 in fines. Nevada law requires motorists to have a current and valid driver’s license to operate a motor vehicle. Nevada law requires motorists to have a current and valid driver’s license to operate a motor vehicle.
Driving without a license, or with an expired or invalid license, is a misdemeanor offense in the state of Nevada.