Greenbelt, Maryland – Carlos Arnulfo Chacon Chacon, age 42, of Laurel, Maryland pleaded guilty today to charges arising from a fatal car crash in which the victim died after being in a coma for eight months.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Chief of Police Robert D. MacLean of the U.S. Park Police.
According to his plea agreement, at about midnight on February 1, 2014, Chacon Chacon was driving a Toyota Celica northbound on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. Two motorists noticed that he was driving erratically, weaving across the road and leaving the travel lanes as he went onto the shoulder. They called 911. As one of the witnesses was speaking with the 911 operator, Chacon Chacon crashed his car into a Mitsubishi traveling northbound in the right lane, on a straight area of the highway.
The Mitsubishi went over a stone wall and then went airborne, striking a tree and causing its roof to collapse down into the passenger compartment. Chacon Chacon’s car struck the stone wall, spun around, and struck the stone wall a second time, finally coming to rest partially in the highway, perpendicular to oncoming traffic.
At the accident scene, Chacon Chacon was able to walk away from his vehicle and spoke with police and emergency medical technicians. He twice declined medical treatment and admitted to drinking six beers shortly before driving. He was under the influence of alcohol. A case of beer was in the back seat of his car. His car was not insured.
Emergency medical services cut open the Mitsubishi and extracted the driver who sustained extreme head trauma and experienced cardiac arrest. The driver remained hospitalized in a coma for nearly eight months and died on September 22, 2014.
Chacon Chacon faces a maximum sentence of one year in prison for manslaughter by vehicle – criminal negligence, and six months in prison for driving under the influence of alcohol, driving an uninsured vehicle, reckless driving failure to drive in a single lane. U.S. District Judge Paul W. Grimm has scheduled sentencing for February 18, 2016.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the U.S. Park Police for its work in the investigation and thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Hollis Raphael Weisman and Special Assistant United States Attorney Gustav William Eyler, of the U.S. Justice Department, who are prosecuting the case.