Driver charged for hit-and-run, drugs

SUBLETTE COUNTY – A Florida man who was on his way to Big Sky, Montana, collided head-on another car on Jan. 10 and is charged with felony drug counts and leaving the scene of the accident without trying to give notice or aid to the other driver.

At 9:18 a.m., a REDDI caller reported that a black “Suburban” with Colorado plates was driving north in the southbound lane with oncoming traffic, according to Trooper Landon Call, who responded to the call.

Several minutes later, a dispatcher reported a head-on collision in the southbound lane at milepost 131.5 between a black Chevy Tahoe and a small white mini-car. The REDDI caller also contacted dispatch and said the Suburban he’d reported had hit the white car and was trying to drive away, according to Call’s affidavit.

Call arrived and interviewed the Tahoe driver, Charles A. Walker, of Hudson, Fla., who gave several reasons for the accident – sunlight, slick ice and failed brakes. The Tahoe had traveled 900 feet past the impact leaving gouges and tire marks, it says.

Walker appeared drowsy and not fully alert, the affidavit says. He did not call 911, it says.

The injured driver of the white MiniCooper, Ana Garcia-Sanchez, was taken by Sublette EMS to St. John’s Hospital in Jackson.

The trooper saw an old set of game tracks leaving the road and human tracks over them; he investigated and found green pills inside cigarette boxes and syringes, it says. Walker told him he had agreed to transport illegal substances from Colorado to Big Sky for a friend, according to the affidavit. The pills were tested and identified as Alprazolam, also sold as Xanax

An ambulance also took Walker to St. John’s for treatment and urine sample and then brought him back to the Sublette County jail. He was released after a family member posted $10,000 cash bond set in Circuit Court.

On Jan. 12, deputy attorney Clayton Melinkovich filed the following charges against Walker: unlawful possession of a controlled substance, Alprazolam, with intent to deliver, felony; possession of a controlled substance, Alprazolam; duty to stop after a collision, misdemeanor; failure to render aid, misdemeanor; failure to provide immediate notice of the collision to law enforcement, misdemeanor and failure to drive in a single lane.

Walker’s preliminary hearing in Circuit Court was rescheduled from Jan. 21 to Feb. 1.