(COLORADO SPRINGS) — An arrest affidavit reveals moments during and after a fatal three-vehicle crash that led to the arrest of a man for Vehicular Homicide and Driving Under the Influence on Friday, Oct. 28.
The suspect’s family member died as a result of the crash, which also left four victims with serious injuries.
Shortly before 8:20 p.m. on Friday, the Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) was notified of an injury crash in the area of Lake Avenue and Cheyenne Road. Numerous officers, firefighters, and paramedics responded to the scene.
A preliminary crash investigation showed that a gray-colored Nissan Maxima driven by Michael David Tapia (previously referred to as Michael Tapia Sr. per CSPD), 54, was traveling eastbound on Lake Avenue and was attempting to make a left turn at the intersection of Lake Avenue and Cheyenne Road.
Tapia failed to yield the right of way to oncoming traffic while making the left turn and was struck by a Jeep Renegade driven by 41-year-old Desislava Valkova. Three passengers were in the vehicle with Tapia, while Valkova had one passenger, per arrest documents.
According to the affidavit, Tapia failed to remain at the location of the crash and left the scene. He was later located and identified by another officer who noticed ‘cues of impairment,’ which urged the officer to call in a DUI specialist to evaluate Tapia.
According to the specialist, Tapia reportedly had a strong odor of an unknown alcoholic beverage on his breath, bloodshot watery eyes, slurred speech, and was unsteady on his feet when walking and standing. Tapia also had glass shards on himself, along with injuries consistent with a person involved in a traffic collision.
Tapia was placed under arrest for driving under the influence and was transported to a hospital for treatment, where he submitted to a blood chemical test.
All passengers were transported to a hospital for medical treatment. One victim later identified as 32-year-old Michael David Tapia II was pronounced dead at approximately 9:12 p.m. on Friday.
Four other victims sustained undisclosed serious bodily injuries from the crash. 26-year-old Michael Sanchez and 32-year-old Daniel Tapia were passengers in Tapia’s vehicle.
An Extent of Injury signed by a doctor stated that both Daniel and Valkova had a substantial risk of death and break or fracture. 46-year-old Donny Vandetti, a passenger in Valkova’s vehicle, was also taken into surgery.
Tapia will appear in court on Nov. 22, 2022, at 10 a.m. accused of the following charges:
- Vehicular Homicide, Class 3 Felony
- Vehicular Assault (Four Counts), Class 4 Felony
- Driving Under the Influence, Misdemeanor
- Driving with Excessive Content, Misdemeanor