PD: Drunk driver with suspended license killed taxi driver, injured passenger

Posted: Updated:
Blaze Franklin (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) Blaze Franklin (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
Three people are in the hospital Wednesday morning after an overnight Phoenix crash left them in critical condition. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Three people are in the hospital Wednesday morning after an overnight Phoenix crash left them in critical condition. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Blaze Franklin at his initial court appearance (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Blaze Franklin at his initial court appearance (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Police say the man they believe caused a deadly crash was driving while impaired and it wasn’t the first time; he was driving on a suspended license, according to court documents obtained by Arizona's Family.

Police arrested Blaze Franklin, 26, as soon as he was released from the hospital on Thursday, Feb. 8. 

According to investigators, Franklin was behind the wheel of a vehicle that turned left in front of an oncoming taxi just before midnight on Tuesday, Feb. 6.

[ORIGINAL STORY: 3 people hospitalized in critical condition after overnight Phoenix crash]

Franklin’s car and the taxi collided, causing the taxi to roll. The driver, 42-year-old Santiago Maya, was trapped and had to be extricated. He later died.

Maya's passenger was injured, as well, but is expected to recover.

Like Maya and his passenger, Franklin was taken to the hospital.

“Upon his release, Franklin was booked into Maricopa County Jail for several counts of aggravated assault related to driving while impaired during this collision,” Sgt. Jonathan Howard of the Phoenix Police Department wrote in an email update Monday afternoon. “He was also booked for warrants related to a prior driving while impaired incident.”

"Blaze had a moderate odor of an intoxicating beverage on his breath," according to the probable cause for arrest statement that is part of Franklin's court paperwork. That was at the scene.

At the hospital, a detective who spoke with Franklin "noted him to have bloodshot and watery eyes, slurred speech, constricted pupils possibly from hospital medication and the odor of an intoxicating beverage on his breath."

According to court documents, Franklin "admitted to drinking one beer..." a little less than six hours before the crash.

[VIDEO: Blaze Franklin's initial court appearance]

Lab results from blood drawn at the hospital did not coincide with that. According to court documents, Franklin's blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was 0.118 percent, well over the legal definition of impaired, which is 0.08.

Howard said Maya’s death changes the situation for Franklin.

“Investigators are working with the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office to have the aggravated assault charges modified due to the death of Mr. Maya,” he explained.

A judge set a secured bond for Franklin at $100,00, but that was for the original aggravated assault charges he faced before Maya died.


Click/tap here to download the free azfamily mobile app.

Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.