EL PASO, Texas -- A deadly late night crash involving four vehicles at a central El Paso intersection was the result of an accused drunk driving soldier from Fort Bliss, authorities said Friday.
The crash happened at Raynor and Yandell before 11 p.m. Thursday when police said the intoxicated driver in a pickup truck ran a red light and struck a motorcycle and two cars in the intersection - killing the motorcyclist.
The alleged drunk driver, 27–year old Ivan Romo, was being held in the downtown jail on $100,000 bond on a charge of intoxication manslaughter.
He was wearing his Army dress uniform at the time of his arrest, and officials at Fort Bliss confirmed he was active duty military. Romo identifies his Army rank as that of sergeant on his Facebook page.
According to an arrest affidavit obtained by ABC-7, Romo's blood alcohol level was found to be twice the legal limit after he was arrested. He reportedly admitted to police that he was driving from one bar to another at the time of the crash and sped up at the intersection trying to beat the red light.
Police identified the motorcyclist killed as 38–year-old Celso Manuel Garcia of El Paso. He was a father of five and longtime employee at El Paso's D & H United Fueling Systems.
"We are all deeply saddened by the news of the passing of our own beloved Celso Garcia Jr.," the company said in a statement. "He was an amazing friend, brother, and colleague aside from being an outstanding father, son and husband. It goes without mention that he was also a stand-up technician that blessed our Environmental department for many years with his hard work, dedication and loyalty. "
The company set up a GoFundMe account to help his wife and children cover Garcia's funeral expenses. You can donate to it by clicking here.
Debris and blood stains could be seen in the street and along the adjacent sidewalk as investigators examined the crash scene late Thursday night and into the early morning hours Friday to piece together exactly what happened.
Police tweeted Friday that the alleged drunk driving crash was the city's first traffic fatality of the new year.
Went the first nine days of the year without a traffic fatality. Life lost last night due to a drunk driver.— EL PASO POLICE DEPT (@EPPOLICE) January 10, 2020