31-year-old Elvin Portillo is charged with vehicular homicide by intoxication for a crash on I-24 East near Harding Place that claimed the life of a 57-year-old Bobby Douglas of 26th Avenue North.
Based on evidence at the scene and witness accounts, the preliminary investigation shows that Portillo, who has a prior DUI conviction from a 2012 arrest, was driving a 2002 Toyota pickup eastbound on I-24 Saturday night, when he lost control and the truck began to spin. Douglas, who was also driving eastbound on I-24 in his 1998 Ford F-150 pickup truck, swerved to avoid a collision with Portillo and struck a guardrail. The Ford pickup became partially airborne and collided with a pole on the driver’s side. Douglas’ pickup truck then caught fire, and he died at the scene. His passenger, Curtis Micheaux Jr., 65, was transported to Vanderbilt with non-life threatening injuries.
After the Toyota pickup truck struck a concrete barrier, Portillo and his passenger, Sebastian Ramirez Monge, 60, attempted to flee on foot but were apprehended by witnesses and held until police arrived. Portillo had an obvious odor of alcohol and admitted drinking beer earlier in the evening. Empty beer cans were found in the Toyota. Portillo’s eyes were bloodshot and he showed indicators of impairment. A search warrant was obtained for a mandatory blood sample from Portillo.
Elvin Portillo is also charged with leaving the scene of a crash, failure to render aid, driving on a revoked license and not having proof of insurance. He is jailed in lieu of $157,000 bond.
His passenger was transported to Vanderbilt with minor injuries and was released after being interviewed by fatal crash investigators.