Bail set at a half-million, ICE places hold on suspect in Highway 22 crash
JACKSON HOLE, WYO – As reported Saturday by Buckrail, the head-on crash resulting in the death of one local resident has also elicited criminal charges. Some new information has come to light and other details, fuzzy immediately following the incident, have been cleared up.
Bob Arndt, 53, was killed when the 1999 Porsche Boxster he was driving was struck by a 2007 Dodge Ram truck headed west on Highway 22 at Milepost 2 near Skyline at approximately 10:10pm, Friday, June 30. At least one REDDI report came in to dispatch minutes before the accident, with callers reporting a vehicle with no headlights on driving erratically. Those calls were undoubtedly regarding the Dodge pickup truck. One such call was recorded at 10:09pm. The very next call to 911 was an eyewitness reporting the horrific accident at 10:12pm.
The driver of the pickup truck was identified as Rudy Isla-Mejico, 41, of Driggs, Idaho. Isla-Mejico is facing several charges including Driving Under the Influence, Aggravated Vehicular Homicide, Driving Without a Driver’s License, Driving Without Headlights, and Failure to Maintain Lane.
Isla-Mejico was arraigned today and is being held in the Teton County Jail on a $500,000 bond. ICE has also placed a hold on the suspect, as well, according to Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Todd Stanyon, as his immigration status is under investigation.
Law enforcement say Arndt likely never knew Isla-Mejico was there in his lane until it was too late. He took no evasive action and there were no signs of braking before the impact.
Subsequently, Isla-Mejico’s truck also struck an eastbound 2007 Chevrolet Suburban that was following the Arndt’s Porsche, after the head-on impact. That driver was not seriously injured.
Arndt’s passenger was his wife, Melanie Harrice. She was transported to St. John’s Medical Center where she remains in stable condition. Arndt was pronounced dead at the scene.
It was the 65th fatality reported on Wyoming highways in 2017. The 66th was recorded less than four hours later when a 1992 Honda Accord driven by Douglas Hazelton, 57, of Ogden, Utah, was rear-ended on I-80 by a 2014 Freightliner commercial tractor-trailer near Rock Springs. Hazelton was reportedly driving far below the posted speed limit and weaving between lanes. He was pronounced dead on scene.