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The driver of a pickup truck that injured 15 people during a Native American parade in New Mexico on Thursday was found to have a blood alcohol level three times the limit and was charged with drink-driving. Legally, police said.
Jeff Owen, 33, was charged to the McKinley County Jail on a long list of criminal charges stemming from the Gallup intertribal ceremonial parade, including aggravated DWI, 15 counts of leaving the scene of an accident and possessing an open container, according to Police said.
The crash injured 15 people, including two Gallup police officers Gilbert Gonzalez and Elijah Bowman. No deaths were reported.
arrested and charged
Owen, whose criminal record includes a previous DWI arrest, admitted to police that he had been drinking before the incident, according to court documents cited by the KOAT station.
Irving said he was watching the parade with his brothers in Gallup, but then they decided to leave.
Accused driver Jeff Irwin has been charged with aggravated DWI after breaking into a ceremonial parade in Gallup, New Mexico.
A police officer comforts an officer at the scene of the crash.
The video shows Jeff Irving allegedly driving his brown Chevrolet Tahoe towards bystanders.
Video taken by witnesses showed a brown Chevrolet Tahoe Irving speeding the wrong way on the parade route, causing children performing traditional dances to escape.
Amid the chaos and the panicked screams of bystanders, the car swerved into a side street, parked in a parking space, then tried to pull out again, hitting a police car. Police then gathered in the vehicle, pulled at least two people and handcuffed them to the sidewalk.
The officers who arrested Owen conducted a field sobriety test on him and concluded that he was allegedly incapacitated.
According to court documents, the 33-year-old took two breath tests and blew a 0.24. In New Mexico, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08.
Owen was also found driving with a suspended license due to a previous DWI and no proof of insurance, police said. The registration for the SUV has expired.