Man charged with criminal vehicular homicide in fatal St. Paul crash
A St. Paul man has been charged with two counts of criminal vehicular homicide in connection with the death of a 25-year-old man Saturday.
Salvador Juan Battles, 31, has been charged with one count of criminal vehicular homicide – operating a motor vehicle in a grossly negligent manner as well as one count of criminal vehicular homicide – operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, according to a charging document filed Tuesday.
The crash happened at about 2:20 a.m. at the intersection of Cretin Avenue North and Marshall Avenue.
When police arrived at the scene, they discovered the driver of a Toyota 4Runner had reportedly run a red light and T-boned a Chevy Impala at a high rate of speed, a spokesperson for the St. Paul Police Department said.
The Impala’s driver—identified as 25-year-old Isiah Desmond Valle-Kirk, of St. Paul—was taken to Regions Hospital, where he later died.
A criminal complaint details the following:
Police identified the driver of the Toyota 4Runner as Battles and noted his eyes were glossy and he smelled of alcohol. Battles failed a field sobriety test.
Battles allegedly told police he was turning left onto Cretin Avenue when he said the driver of the Impala “hit me.”
Police spoke with a witness at the scene who had been driving east along Marshall Avenue at the time of the crash. The witness said that as he approached the intersection of Cretin Avenue during a green light, he saw the Impala traveling west along Marshall and proceeding through the intersection.
The witness said he also observed the Toyota 4Runner traveling north at a high rate of speed and said the 4Runner ran the red light and entered the intersection. The witness told police he had to slam on his brakes to avoid being hit by the 4Runner and said the 4Runner then hit the Impala.
Police also obtained surveillance video from a business at the intersection. In viewing the video, police said it appeared the Impala was traveling west along Marshall. Then, police reported the sound of a vehicle approaching the intersection at a high rate of speed could be heard. In “almost a blur,” police said a vehicle that had been traveling north entered the intersection just after the Impala entered the intersection. Police said the crash could be heard in the video.
In an interview with police, Battles said he thought he was going approximately 30 mph and admitted he had been drinking prior to driving, but said he had only had one beer.
Law enforcement officials obtained a blood sample from Battles as part of a search warrant and reported analysis is pending.