The Journal Gazette
Tuesday, January 26, 2021 1:00 am

NY driver charged with DWI in deadly crash

DAVE GONG | The Journal Gazette

Police say Alexander Delaney's blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit the night Rebeca Garcia-Salazar was killed. 

Delaney, 26, of Utica, New York, was charged Monday with resisting law enforcement and causing a death, causing death when operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated and reckless homicide. He was also cited for speeding. 

Shortly before midnight Friday, Fort Wayne Police Officer Michael Griffith was sitting in his squad car, facing south in the 3600 block of Lima Road.

At 11:33 p.m., according to court documents, Griffith saw a white Kia doing 66 mph in an area with a speed limit of 40 mph. The officer attempted to stop the Kia, allegedly driven by Delaney, but the car did not immediately pull over, documents said. 

In a probable cause affidavit written by Griffith, the Kia eventually stopped in Lima's center lane, just south of where the road intersects with Coliseum Boulevard, where the traffic signal was red.

“There were vehicles in front of the Kia also stopped at the red light,” Griffith wrote. “I advised dispatch that I was attempting to stop a vehicle and called out the New York license plate and just as I was doing that, the automatic signal turned green and the Kia quickly changed lanes to the left and accelerated rapidly, ignoring my emergency lights and taps of the siren.” 

Griffith gave chase but gave up once the Kia's speed reached 90 mph. Griffith wrote in his affidavit that he decided to end the chase because of the Kia's speed “and the hazard it posed to other motorists.” 

But a short time later, Griffith “came upon a crash at Lima Road and West Washington Center Road, where the Kia collided with a blue Chevrolet Tahoe.” When he arrived, Griffith saw a man standing behind the Kia “facing forward and with his hands in the air.” The man, Griffith wrote, identified himself as Delaney. 

Another man nearby yelled for help. 

The crash caused the Tahoe to roll over, pinning the driver, later identified as Garcia-Salazar. She was removed from the vehicle and taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries. 

Garcia-Salazar, 33, was pronounced dead early Saturday. The Allen County coroner said in a news release Monday that her death was caused by multiple blunt force injuries caused by a motor vehicle crash. 

Garcia-Salazar is the county's seventh traffic fatality this year. 

Court documents state Delaney was given two chemical breath tests.

The first test came back with a blood alcohol content of 0.197%. Delaney's blood alcohol content after the second test was 0.184%. The legal limit is 0.08%. 

Delaney's bond was set at $30,000 at a hearing Monday. His next hearing is scheduled for Jan. 28.

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