A 21-year-old man who authorities said drove drunk on Interstate 80 in Omaha and crashed into another car, killing the driver, was ordered held on $3 million bail Tuesday.
Joaquin Dimayuga-Alvarado has been charged with motor vehicle homicide and driving under the influence causing serious bodily injury in connection with the death of 76-year-old Timothy Flaherty and injuries to two others.
According to police, Dimayuga-Alvarado was driving a 2010 Nissan Maxima on Saturday with 16-year-old passenger Jamie Dominguez on westbound I-80 between the 60th Street and 72nd Street exits.
Just before 4 p.m., the Maxima struck a 2022 Hyundai Elantra driven by Flaherty that was stopped in the north shoulder of the westbound lanes of I-80, police said. Because of the force of the crash, the Elantra overturned, and Flaherty died at the scene.
Dimayuga-Alvarado's Maxima then veered across the interstate and hit a 2019 Jeep Cherokee driven by 26-year-old Quinten Washington. Washington was not injured, but 25-year-old Marketa Kennedy, who was a passenger in the Jeep, went to a hospital for treatment of her injuries.
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Dominguez also was taken to a hospital in stable but critical condition.
Officers at the scene noticed Dimayuga-Alvarado's bloodshot and watery eyes and an odor of alcohol, according to an arrest affidavit. He told them that he drank an alcoholic beverage at Isla del Mar near 36th and Q streets and then drove on the interstate.
Sobriety tests conducted at the scene showed that he was impaired, police said. About two hours after the crash, Dimayuga-Alvarado's preliminary breath test was .156 — nearly double the legal limit.
A blood-alcohol test was pending.
According to court documents, the legal immigration status of Dimayuga-Alvarado is unknown, although he provided Omaha police with a photo identification card issued by the Mexican government at a consulate in Texas.
The police officer who arrived at the scene wrote in the arrest affidavit that Dimayuga-Alvarado "is considered a potential flight risk due to the lack of ties to the community." That may likely be the reason for the steep bail amount set by Douglas County Judge Grant Forsberg.
A typical bail amount for a motor vehicle homicide charge is about $50,000 to $75,000, but a 2018 World-Herald analysis showed judges reserve highest bail amounts up to $2 million for Latinos whose immigration status was questionable and those with previous drunken driving convictions.