Greenbelt, Maryland – Josue Balbino Ruiz Reyes, age 19, of Hyattsville, Maryland pleaded guilty today to involuntary manslaughter in connection with the death of a passenger resulting from a car collision.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Acting Chief of Police Robert Maclean of the U.S. Park Police.
According to his plea agreement, on August 22, 2013 at about 5:30 a.m., Ruiz Reyes drove with a passenger in his SUV southbound on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway from the Glen Burnie area. He had been drinking alcohol earlier that morning and the previous night. Near the route 197 exit, he lost control of his SUV and drove onto the shoulder of the highway. His SUV rolled over completely and landed upright, breaking all the windows and ejecting the passenger. Ruiz Reyes drove away.
Numerous other motorists called 911. The U.S. Park Police found Ruiz Reyes driving his badly damaged vehicle on the ramp from the Parkway to Powder Mill Road, about four miles south of the location of the crash. Four police cruisers forced the vehicle to a stop. The right side of the SUV was completely smashed. The passenger side door would not open. Ruiz Reyes told the police he had two beers earlier. He was shirtless, and had minor bruises and cuts on his body. Ruiz Reyes was taken to the hospital where a blood test was given. His blood-alcohol level was .10 grams of alcohol per 100 mL of blood.
Meanwhile, U.S. Park Police officers at the scene of the roll-over found the passenger’s body lying in the grass, where her body had been ejected from the SUV. She was pronounced dead. Ruiz Reyes told police that the passenger had gotten out of the car on the side of the road voluntarily. His Maryland driving privileges were suspended.
Ruiz Reyes faces a maximum sentence of eight years in prison followed by three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus scheduled sentencing for April 7, 2014 at 4:00 p.m.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the U.S. Park Police for its work in the investigation and thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Hollis R. Weisman, who is prosecuting the case.