AVONDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- A 19-year-old Goodyear man with a history of DUI is facing several felony charges after a deadly wreck that happened while he was driving.
It happened just before 4:30 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 29, 2018, on Avondale Boulevard at Lower Buckeye Road in Avondale.
According to police, Gabino Matancillas was driving his truck north on Avondale Boulevard at the time. He has three passengers with him – a 20-year-old in the front seat and a 17-year-old and an 18-year-old in the back seat.
A semi-truck hauling a loaded trailer had stopped for the stop sign on Avondale Boulevard, according to police. That driver had just started to turn left onto Lower Buckeye Road when Matancillas rear-ended the rig.
Police said about three feet of the pickup went under the semi’s trailer.
Nobody in Matancillas’ pickup was wearing their seat belt. One of the passengers died at the scene. The other two suffered serious injuries. Matancillas broke his leg.
“Responding deputies found Gabino seated in the driver’s seat and assisted him out of the vehicle through the driver’s window,” according to public court documents.
The probable cause for arrest statement notes that a drug recognition expert “determined Gabino was impaired by alcohol and marijuana.”
Lab tests from the hospital put Matancillas’ blood alcohol content at 0.051 percent, which is technically under Arizona’s legal definition of impaired, which is 0.08. Utah just lowered its legal definition of impaired to 0.05. That's the lowest DUI threshold in the country.
While a DUI charge in Arizona is automatic with a BAC of 0.08 or higher, language in the state law allows for a charge if the driver is believed to have been impaired “to the slightest degree.”
Investigators said Matancillas admitted to smoking marijuana before driving and said his passengers were smoking the drug while he was driving. Investigators also found “multiple 12 packs of beer” in Matancillas’ truck.
At 19 years old, Matancillas was not old enough to legally buy alcohol. Neither were any of his passengers.
When investigators ran a records check, they learned that Matancillas’ driver license had been suspended a month ago because of a DUI conviction on Nov. 29, 2018, out of Avondale City Court.
Matancillas was arrested on News Year's Eve at the Goodyear home where he lives with his parents.
Investigators recommended a charge of reckless manslaughter because one of the passengers died in the crash, two counts of aggravated assault for the two passengers who were hurt, and one count each of endangerment and aggravated DUI.
A secured appearance bond was set at $100,000. Should Matancillas post that, he will be required to submit to electronic monitoring.