Photo: Hilberto Velasques-Ramirez attempted to leave accident scene
Moments after causing an accident, a drunk driver attempted to drive off and leave the people he injured behind.
At around 1:15 a.m. Friday morning, Hilberto Velasques-Ramirez, 31, was driving drunk and traveling east in the westbound lanes of Iowa’s Veterans Memorial Highway. He crashed his van into a Chevrolet Cavalier carrying four teenagers.
After the collision, 16-year-old Jessilyn Eisman, managed to crawl from the wreckage. She later told police that after she escaped the vehicle, she asked Velasques-Ramirez to call 911, but he refused.
Eisman then realized Velasques-Ramirez was attempting to leave and that is when she grabbed his keys.
She told the Des Moines Register, ‘I wasn’t going to let someone leave that just killed my friend.’
The friend she was referring to is 17-year-old Chrisshaun Moten. He was described as someone who would “stop you in the hallway and say hello to you and ask how your day was,” despite what social circle you were in.
When police arrived Velasques-Ramirez, whose last known address was Nashville, Tennessee, was taken into custody. His blood-alcohol level was found to be more than twice the legal limit to drive at .178.
The other two passengers in the car with Eisman and Moten, 17-year-old Phillip Moffatt and 18-year-old Brenden Kniesly, needed to be hospitalized for their injuries. Kniesly was the driver of their vehicle.
A vigil was held for Moten Saturday night.
Velasques-Ramirez, who is being held at Pottawattamie County Jail on $650,000 bond, claims he was not responsible for the accident, but admitted to having six beers that morning. He was booked into jail on suspicion of homicide by motor vehicle, two counts of serious injury by motor vehicle, and OWI (Operating While Impaired). He was also cited for failing to hold a driver’s license and having no proof of insurance.