Illegal immigrant charged in I-83 crash that killed passenger

Police: man was driving drunk when he lost control of vehicle

July 20, 2010|By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun

A 22-year-old Hyattsville man has been charged with negligent driving after police say he crashed his car while driving drunk on I-83 early Monday, killing his passenger.

Freddy Cortez Flores, who police say is an illegal immigrant, was driving northbound on I-83 just before 1 a.m. when he lost control of his vehicle and crossed over the right lanes, striking a Jersey wall near Guilford Avenue. Police say he was driving 65 miles an hour in a 40 mile-per-hour zone.

Cortez Flores' passenger, Carlos O. Cardoza Portillo, was wearing his seat belt but was partially ejected and dragged against the Jersey wall for 567 feet before the vehicle came to rest, police said. Portillo was pronounced dead at the scene.

When officers arrived at the scene, they noted Cortez Flores' speech was slurred and detected a strong odor of alcohol, according to charging documents. A Spanish-speaking officer interviewed Cortez Flores, who said he had swerved to avoid an unknown vehicle that had swerved into his lane.

Cortez Flores told the officer that he had consumed four beers, records show. At the Central District station, his blood alcohol level was determined to be 0.09.

Police said Cortez Flores, who had a valid Maryland driver's license, is in the country illegally, and officers contacted an agent from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, who placed an immigration detainer on him.

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