‘Overwhelming’ odor of alcohol came from man arrested in deadly Fourth of July crash: report

Crime Watch

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — An “overwhelming” odor of alcohol came from a man authorities believe drove under the influence in a fatal crash that occurred on the Fourth of July.

A California Highway Patrol officer went to Kern Medical to interview Eli Valdovinos Jr., who, along with his passenger, suffered major injuries when the Chevy Silverado he was driving hit a dirt berm and overturned on Rancheria Road north of Highway 178, according to a document filed in court. The passenger, Michael Dempsey Eyler, 54, was found pinned under the vehicle and was pronounced dead at the hospital, officials have said.

The officer found Valdovinos unconscious at the hospital and determined he was the registered owner of the Silverado and had been driving at the time of the crash, the document says.

“After contacting Mr. Valdovinos Jr. at the hospital, I could smell the overwhelming odor of an alcoholic beverage emitting from his person,” the officer wrote.

He arrested Valdovinos on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and causing great bodily injury, according to the document. No charges had been filed against Valdovinos as of Thursday morning.

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