New details emerge in fatal hit-and-run in Kremmling
A 45-year-old suspect named Juan Carlos Flores Flores is currently in custody on charges of vehicular homicide, after he allegedly struck and killed 19-year-old Kremmling resident Juan Pablo Santillan the morning of May 29 outside of Hotel Eastin.
At approximately 1 a.m., Kremmling Police Officers were dispatched to the hotel on the report of a man found dead along the west side of the building. According to the department’s warrantless arrest affidavit, a witness had heard a loud bang that shook the hotel, then went outside to investigate, where they found Santillan along the wall of the hotel. Santillan was already dead, with severe physical injuries consistent with being struck by a vehicle. The vehicle had left the scene. Police investigated the area, finding tire marks that had spun out.
The Grand County Sheriff’s Office, Grand County Coroners’ Office, Grand County EMS and Kremmling Fire Protection District responded and assisted with the incident. After following leads, the Police discovered the hit-and-run vehicle, a Ford Expedition, at Red Mountain RV Park. The SUV had front-end damage consistent with the accident, and the same tires police had identified by tracks at the scene.
Police spoke with residents at the RV Park, learning that Kremmling resident Juan Carlos Flores Flores was the owner of the SUV. Police ran the plates, confirming Flores was the registered owner. They approached Flores’ trailer and spoke to him about the incident. Flores initially claimed that he had been drinking that night with the victim, but had not driven anywhere. He stated that he knew Santillan and sometimes gave him a ride to work. Officers detained Flores and drove him to the police station.
At the station, Flores admitted to being at fault for the crash that had killed Santillan, since he had been drinking and had accidentally put the truck into the wrong gear and driven. Flores said that he had not meant for the crash to happen. He panicked and left the scene, returning to the RV Park.
Flores performed a breathalyzer test and roadside maneuvers, which he failed. Flores was then detained on charges of vehicular homicide, failure to remain at the scene of an accident, driving under the influence of alcohol, and failure to report an accident.
Deputy District Attorney Hesson requested a $5,000 cash or surety bond for Flores. Judge Herringer then set the bond for Flores at $1,500 cash or surety.
On the morning of May 31, the district attorney’s office formally charged Flores with two felonies — vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of an accident, and one misdemeanor — driving under the influence. During a separate hearing on the afternoon of May 31, the District Attorney’s office requested a bond condition of monitored sobriety be put in place should Flores post bond, due to the fact that he was convicted of driving while ability impaired (DWAI) on May 17.
According to the Grand County Sheriff’s Office, Flores is still in custody with a posted bond of $1,500 at the time of publication.
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