Man faces homicide charge in fatal crash

One child killed, another badly hurt

A 32-year-old Olathe man with five prior DUI arrests is accused of killing a 7-year-old boy and sending a 2-year-old girl to a local hospital clinging to life from an alleged drunken-driving crash Sunday in Olathe.

Driver Juan Prieto-Gonzalez, 32, is suspected of being under the influence of alcohol when he allegedly ran a stop sign at the intersection of Colorado Highway 348 and 54.00 Road just before 3 p.m., plowing into a Suburban carrying four people.

Seven-year-old Jose Prieto of Olathe, presumably a relative of Prieto-Gonzalez, died at the scene, and 2-year-old Araceli Gonzales, who was riding in the other vehicle, was listed in critical condition Monday at St. Mary’s Hospital.

The Colorado State Patrol could not say whether Jose Prieto is Prieto-Gonzalez’ son, because the agency does not list relationships among those involved in crashes in its reports.

Prieto-Gonzalez was driving a 1989 Camaro when he allegedly ran a stop sign, driving into the path of a 1996 Suburban driven by J. Merced Perez-Gonzales, 53, of Delta. The
Suburban struck the passenger side door of the Camaro, where the restrained boy was sitting, the patrol said.

Three of the four people in the Suburban — Araceli Gonzales, 3-year-old Cesar Gonzales and Perez-Gonzales — were taken to St. Mary’s Hospital with serious injuries, the Patrol said. No one in the Suburban was wearing a restraint, the patrol said.

On Monday, Cesar Gonzales was listed in fair condition and Perez-Gonzales was not listed in a directory at St. Mary’s Hospital, according to spokeswoman Samantha Moe.

Another passenger, Aurelia Gonzales, 42, was treated and released at the scene for minor injuries.

Prieto-Gonzalez was arrested on suspicion of vehicular homicide, multiple charges of vehicular assault, DUI, driving without insurance and other traffic infractions, the patrol said.

He appeared in court in Delta on Monday and was advised on those charges.

Prieto-Gonzalez had racked up five drinking-and-driving violations and a host of other driving infractions in Delta and Montrose between 1994 and 1996, according to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.

In August 1997, Prieto-Gonzalez was sentenced to a year in prison for a charge of fraud and was sentenced to an additional 60 days after being found guilty at trial on a charge of failing to appear for court hearings. His most recent run-ins with the law were in July of 2005 when he was arrested on two misdemeanor counts of domestic violence by officers of the Aurora Police Department, according to the CBI.


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