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Man faces four felonies in fatal crash (with video)
Four felony charges were filed Tuesday morning in Somerton Justice Court against a San Luis man suspected of being the driver in a fatal car accident that happened nearly two weeks ago.
Freddy Rodriguez, 23, who turned himself in to Yuma County sheriff's deputies on Friday, was charged with endangerment, aggravated driving under the influence, leaving the scene of an accident and manslaughter.
Rodriguez was arraigned before Somerton Justice of the Peace Jorge Lazano, who ordered his bond remain at $500,000, which had been set at a previous hearing over the weekend.
Lazano also scheduled Rodriguez's next court date, a preliminary hearing for 2 p.m. July 8 at Somerton Justice Court. The judge also appointed a public defender to represent him.
Deputies arrested Rodriguez, who allegedly fled to Mexico to avoid arrest after the accident, at approximately 11:20 p.m. Friday at the U.S. Port of Entry at San Luis, Ariz.
On June 21, at approximately 5:13 a.m., the Yuma County Sheriff's Office received a report of a single vehicle collision in the vicinity of County 20-1/2 Street and approximately Avenue G-1/2.
The vehicle involved was a silver 2002 Jeep Cherokee. The vehicle had been traveling westbound along a dirt road when the driver, who is suspected to be Rodriguez, failed to negotiate a turn and left the roadway.
The vehicle came to rest upside down in a canal filled with approximately four feet of water. The vehicle had four occupants at the time of the accident.
The front seat passenger, 27-year-old Diego Heredia Jr., of San Luis, Ariz. was pronounced dead at the scene.
The two passengers in the rear of the vehicle were treated by Rural/Metro personnel and released with no apparent injuries.
The cause of the incident is still under investigation. It appears, according to deputies, that alcohol may have been a factor.
In a previous article in The Sun, Capt. Eben Bratcher of the Yuma County Sheriff's Office said that YCSO is also considering filing criminal charges against some individuals who are suspected of helping Rodriguez flee to Mexico and of hiding him.
James Gilbert can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6854.