Court case

A Vancouver man is facing vehicular homicide charges after police say a car he was driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol landed on Interstate 5 on its roof, killing two of the four occupants earlier this month.

On Feb. 3, Luis Perez Salinas appeared in Clark County Superior Court. He faces two counts of vehicular homicide while under the influence and one count of hit-and-run. His bail was set at $500,000. 

According to a probable cause affidavit for Perez Salinas’ arrest, at about 2:30 a.m. Feb. 2 he and three other occupants were traveling east on South 11th Street in Ridgefield when Perez Salinas, the driver of the vehicle, failed to stop at a stop sign, going through a wire fence and down an embankment onto I-5. The vehicle landed on its roof, after which its engine compartment caught fire, the affidavit stated.

After landing, two witnesses at the scene helped to remove three of the four occupants, according to the affidavit, with them noticing the driver, Perez Salinas, exiting on his own and fleeing the scene. Witnesses spoke to the front passenger, Josue B. Gonzalez, 23, who was later transported to a hospital. The two other occupants —  31-year-old Aristeo Alejopablo and 43-year-old Margarito Alejopablo — were confirmed dead at the scene.

Clark County Sheriff’s Office deputies managed to track Perez Salinas with a police K-9, finding him about 200 feet south of the crash scene hiding in bushes, the affidavit stated. A deputy noticed Perez Salinas’ eyes were bloodshot and watery, and could smell a “strong and obvious odor of intoxicating beverages on his breath,” according to the affidavit.

Perez Salinas said he had three beers at ilani with the last one about an hour and a half before the crash, the affidavit stated. He refused to take a field sobriety or breath test. He was transported to a hospital for injuries he sustained in the crash.

Perez Salinas is set for an arraignment hearing Feb. 14.

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