Las Vegas Boulevard Drunk Driver Killed Motorist While Speeding at 140 MPH

Posted on: March 29, 2024, 06:01h. 

Last updated on: March 29, 2024, 11:01h.

An intoxicated driver was traveling at speeds up to 140 mph when he struck another vehicle recently on Las Vegas Boulevard, police said. The impact broke the other car in half, killed the other driver, and injured a passenger.

Charlie Hernandez
Charlie Hernandez in a mug shot. He allegedly was driving intoxicated when his car smashed into another vehicle, killing the other driver. (Image: LVMPD)

The drunk driver, Charlie Hernandez, 28, was arrested last week, police said. He’s scheduled to appear in court in May on DUI resulting in death, DUI resulting in substantial bodily harm, and reckless driving charges, Las Vegas TV station KLAS reported on Thursday.

Hernandez was driving a Dodge Challenger southbound on Las Vegas Boulevard on March 22 when he smashed into the Hyundai Accent near the intersection with Walnut Road.

The Accent split in half, police said. The Challenger rolled over before coming to rest on the street.

One Died, One Critically Injured

When police officers first got to the accident scene, Hernandez had gotten out of the car.

His passenger, Kevin Portillo-Torres, 29, was in the damaged Challenger and couldn’t escape. He also was critically injured, according to Las Vegas TV station KSNV.

Las Vegas firefighters arrived and eventually extricated him. Once free, he was taken to University Medical Center where he was treated for multiple injuries to the bottom of his body, such as a broken femur, according to KSNV.

Police didn’t have an updated condition late this week for Portillo-Torres.

The driver of the Accent, Luciano Chavez Y Chavez, 38, also was critically injured. He was rushed to a nearby hospital, but doctors could do little to save his life.

Hernandez, who escaped serious injury, was also taken to University Medical Center and was released after being checked out by a doctor.

He later told police the Challenger belonged to Portillo-Torres. Portillo-Torres needed a ride back to his house because he, too, had been drinking alcohol, so Hernandez took the wheel.

I messed up. I [expletive] up,” Hernandez said to an officer following the arrest. “I was driving and I got into an accident.”

When Hernandez first spoke to police, it appeared he did not even know what street he was on, KSNV reported. He thought he was on Craig Road. Hernandez also failed a field sobriety test, which tells officers if someone is intoxicated, according to KSNV.

Police also checked the Challenger’s computer after the deadly crash. Three seconds before impact, Hernandez was driving 140 mph with his foot pressing the gas pedal to the floor, police said. That is more than three times the posted speed limit of 45 mph.

At the exact time of the collision, his car was clocked at 127 mph, according to the car’s internal computer.

Hernandez was booked at Clark County Detention Center and appeared in local court last weekend.

Judge Daniel Westmeyer set Hernandez’ bail at $50K. He was able to post bond.

Ordered Not to Drive

As a condition of his release, Hernandez cannot operate a motor vehicle. He also was ordered to wear a bracelet that monitors alcohol use.

Hernandez reportedly had been drinking alcohol at a friend’s residence shortly before the fatal crash.

The deadly crash got the attention of Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) social media sites.

“We MUST do better, Clark County!” one LVMPD site stated. “Families are suffering due to reckless choices! It’s time to put an END to this tragedy!”