Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Undocumented 18-year-old Man Charged With Four Counts Of Homicide By Intoxicated Driving In Wisconsin

Victor H. Benitez

Undocumented driver being held on a $170,000 cash bond.

By H. Nelson Goodson
May 22, 2012

Madison - On Monday, Victor H. Benitez, 18, of Madison was charged with four felony counts each of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle, homicide by vehicle while using a controlled substance, hit-and-run involving death and four misdemeanor counts for driving without a license causing death and one misdemeanor count for obstructing an officer. Benitez charges stem from last February's accident in Fitchburg that left four passengers dead.
Benitez tested positive for THC (marijuana) cocaine and had alcohol in his system when he was taken into custody and tested at a UW-Madison hospital, according to the criminal complaint.
Benitez, a suspected C-14 gang member is being held on a $170,000 cash bond ($10K for each count) and an immigration hold has been placed to prevent his release. Benitez is expected back in court on May 29 for a preliminary hearing, according to court records.
The criminal complaint states, Benitez walked away from the fatal accident scene as police were trying to help his passengers. He was tracked down by Nicolas Mittelstedt, a Fitchburg firefighter by using a thermal imaging camera on Benitez foot tracks.
Benitez was escorted back to the scene by Mittelstedt where he later denied being the driver of the vehicle. He told an officer, that he was sleeping in the back seat when the accident occured. Investigators say, he was the only one that had used a seatbelt and marks left by the accident on his left shoulder were consistant with the use of a seatbelt.
Benitez was heading back to Madison from Rockford, Illinois and was driving recklessly, speeding in excess of 70 miles per hour while his passengers were drinking alcohol. He lost control and the vehicle rolled over.
The following victims were killed as a result, they were identified as, Alan Michael Dickson, 25, and Phankham Chitanavong, 17, both from Rockford, IL; Martin Sánchez-Gutierrez, 17, and José Antonio Cabrera-Hernández, 18, both from Madison. 

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