Drug impairment likely in deadly crash at bus stop


by Catherine Holland

Video report by Ryan O'Donnell

Posted on March 26, 2013 at 7:00 AM

Updated Friday, Mar 29 at 2:43 PM

Map: 67th Ave. & Indian School

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PHOENIX -- Two people are dead, a third is hurt, and a fourth is facing manslaughter charges after an early morning car-pedestrian accident at a West Valley bus stop Tuesday.

It happened at 67th Avenue and Indian School Road at about 6:30 a.m.

Aerial video from the scene showed a yellow Nissan truck with a camper that crashed through a fence, coming to stop in a vacant lot.

According to the Phoenix Fire Department, two people were boarding a city bus when the driver of the truck, which was heading west on Indian School Road, lost control, crossed the center lane and hit them.

Phoenix Police Sgt. Trent Crump said the truck actually skidded between the bus stop bench and a stopped city bus. Passengers on the bus saw everything and told 3TV's Ryan O'Donnell that the truck came out of nowhere.

Emergency crews pronounced Jesus Antonio Martinez Chavez, 47, dead at the scene. The second pedestrian, a 43-year-old man, was taken to a local hospital. He died during surgery. The third pedestrian, a 36-year-old man, managed to dodge the truck , escaping with only minor injuries.

The driver of the truck, now identified as Raymond J. Barela, 43, was taken to a local hospital, as well. His injuries are not life-threatening, according to Crump.

Detectives were with him at the hospital. They believe he might have been under the influence of drugs when he lost control of his truck.

"There is some indication that he was under the influence," Phoenix Police Sgt. Trent Crump said. "He has admitted some drug use to our officers from last night."

Barela, who was driving on a suspended license, has since been arrested and faces two counts of manslaughter, one count of aggravated assault and one count of aggravated DUI.