Prosecutors charged 25-year-old Samuelle Bohannon with driving while intoxicated, claiming he drove on the wrong side of the highway, hit another vehicle head-on and as a result caused the death of Alejandro Chavez.
The criminal charges fall on the heels of a wrongful death settlement.
Samuelle Bohannon of Grandview allegedly left a Northland house party with several friends in the early morning hours of Oct. 27, 2019.
They stopped at IHOP for a quick bite to eat and perhaps sober up before heading home. But Bohannon allegedly got in a verbal confrontation with at least one of his friends and was told by management to leave the restaurant.
Bohannon got behind the wheel of his 2015 Dodge Dart and Alejandro Chavez, 50, rode shotgun. Authorities say Bohannon was heading back towards IHOP in the wrong direction on Interstate 635. While traveling at an estimated speed of 60 to 70 mph, Bohannon struck a 2006 GMC Sierra head-on in the southbound lanes of the ramp leading from Interstate 29 to Interstate 635.
Witnesses at the scene told authorities after the high-speed collision, Bohannon fled the vehicle and jumped over a guardrail. The driver of the GMC Sierra, identified in court documents as Carathers, made his way out of his mangled vehicle and attempted to speak with Bohannon.
“Bohannon told him to shut up in Spanish,” states court documents.
The passenger inside Bohannon’s vehicle, Alejandro Chavez, did not make it out of the vehicle before it caught fire, according to court documents. Carathers told authorities Bohannon did not mention that he had a passenger inside the vehicle. The coroner’s office determined Chavez’s cause of death was blunt force injury and smoke inhalation.
Carathers told police he was traveling anywhere from 40-50 mph and could not avoid the head-on collision even though he attempted to swerve out of the way.
Bohannon was taken to the North Kansas City Hospital, where officers administered a Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test. The preliminary test results strongly indicated Bohannon was intoxicated, so he was placed under arrest and asked to submit to a chemical blood test.
“Medical records were obtained for Bohannon and showed he had a blood alcohol content of .174 when he arrived at the North Kansas City Hospital. Toxicology results showed Bohannon tested positive for Ethanol with a BAC of .129 on 10-27-2019 at 6:11 a.m. and a BAC of .114 at 7:12 a.m.,” according to court documents.
A warrant for Bohannon’s arrest has been issued.