Driver Charged in Crash that Killed 1 Teen, Injured Another

SPRINGDALE, AR (KNWA) - A teen has died in an early morning car crash.

Police say it happened around 4:00 a.m. on Monday. Springdale officers responded to Meadow & Commercial where they found a white 2005 Chevy Trailblazer on its top in a nearby parking lot.

The investigation revealed the Trailblazer was driving west on Meadow, lost control around Commercial and rolled several times.

Initial police reports say there were 5 people inside the SUV when it crashed.

The driver Gustavo Escalante, 20, was wearing his seat belt and was not injured. He faces charges of negligent homicide, 2nd degree battery and driving while intoxicated.

Police said at least two passengers were ejected during the crash. Eliseo Landa-Zamora, 18, was pronounced dead at the scene. The other person ejected from the SUV was transported to Washington Regional Medical Center with life threatening injuries.

Two passengers ran from the accident, according to police, one later returning to Northwest Medical Center with minor injuries. The other was identified later.

A preliminary report from the prosecuting attorney's office shows Escalante's blood alcohol content was recorded at 0.11, over the legal 0.08 limit. He told officers he was "definitely buzzed" and should not have been driving.

According to the report, Escalante's admission of driving while intoxicated when he crashed the car led to the negligent homicide and battery charges.

CLICK here to read the full report from the prosecuting attorney's office.

Police said they will continue to investigate this crash.

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