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A single-vehicle crash on Interstate 10 last week has resulted in numerous charges against the driver of the vehicle, 34-year old Edwin Hurt.
Police say Hurt was driving with two passengers when his Jaguar sedan overturned near 91st Avenue. Although no other vehicles were involved, the consequences of the crash were significant. One passenger, who was not wearing a seat belt, was killed. The other passenger suffered a fractured skull, fractured ribs, a punctured lung, and arm injuries that were severe enough so that his arm had to be amputated. Hurt was also injured, although it seems that his injuries were far less serious than those of his passengers.
While reports indicate that Xanax pills were found in the car, police say the culprit in this case was alcohol, and a lot of it. They claim that Hurt’s blood alcohol content (BAC) was just under 0.32, or about four times the legal limit. Under Arizona law, driving with a BAC of 0.15 or more places the driver in the category of extreme driving under the influence. Where, as here, the BAC is (allegedly) 0.20 or more, the offense is commonly referred to as super extreme DUI. The categorization of DUI as extreme or super extreme increases the potential consequences of a conviction, including the length of any jail sentence.
But the increased DUI penalties in this case pale in comparison to those for the additional charges Hurt is now facing. They include manslaughter, a class 2 felony with a presumptive sentence, for a first time offender, of five years in prison. In addition to extreme DUI and manslaughter, he is also charged with endangerment (in this case a class 6 felony) and illegal possession of a dangerous drug.
Officials have stated that Hurt was drinking with his passengers prior to the crash. Their claim in this regard was not based upon statements by witnesses, at least at the outset. Hurt appears to have provided some evidence of his activities just prior to the crash, by posts on Facebook which included pictures of himself and his two passengers drinking at a local restaurant.
Law Offices of David A. Black
40 North Central Avenue #1850
Phoenix, AZ 85004