Family of suspect expresses sorrow after Nev crash

AP News
Posted: Sep 17, 2012 4:41 PM
Family of suspect expresses sorrow after Nev crash

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Family members of a Las Vegas man accused of being drunk behind the wheel of a car that plowed into a crowded bus stop expressed sorrow Monday for relatives of the four people killed and seven others injured.

The statement came after suspect Gary Lee Hosey Jr., 23, who also was hurt in the Thursday crash, appeared in shackles next to a defense lawyer during his initial court appearance.

Hosey's arm was in a sling, and he responded only when the judge asked his name. He was not asked to enter a plea.

Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Conrad Hafen gave prosecutors until Friday to file formal charges stemming from the morning rush-hour crash at the bus stop a few miles west of the Las Vegas Strip.

The judge declined defense attorney Caitlyn McAmis' request to set bail, and ordered Hosey to remain at the Clark County jail pending arraignment.

Hosey was being held on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol causing death. If convicted, he could face 80 years in state prison and $20,000 in fines. He is expected to face additional charges.

"This was a tragedy," said Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson, who watched from the courtroom gallery and promised the case will get top attention from his office.

"There's no reason for something like this to happen in this day and age," Wolfson told The Associated Press. "Take a taxi. Have a designated driver. Call a friend. You don't get behind the wheel of a car with your buddies and speed 100 mph."

Hosey's parents, Lechtrianna and Gary Hosey Sr., and an aunt, Mary Simpson, emerged from the courtroom with several supporters and told reporters their thoughts and prayers were with the relatives of those killed and injured.

"We just want the families of the victims to know we are so sorry for their loss and our hearts go out to them," Lechtrianna Hosey said.

"We're sorry about the people who got hurt and the people who got killed," Mary Simpson added.

Gary Hosey Jr. did not have a valid Nevada driver's license, and failed field sobriety and breath blood-alcohol tests, police said in an arrest report released Monday.

Police said he told officers he had one beer.

Police said Hosey told crash investigators that he left an Ethiopian bar with three friends in his girlfriend's car shortly after 6 a.m. Thursday and was hurrying home because his girlfriend needed the vehicle to get to work at 7 a.m.

The crash happened about 6:24 a.m. on a busy thoroughfare where people waited for a bus heading toward the Las Vegas Strip.

The report says a woman who said she was walking to work at the time told police she thought the 2001 Chevrolet Monte Carlo was speeding at more than 100 mph when it bottomed out crossing a dip at an intersection.

Hosey told police he remembered the car becoming airborne and veering out of control, the report states.

He said he didn't remember hitting the bus shelter or pedestrians.

The man and three women killed were identified as Gerber Herman Ayala-Tomasino Jr., 24, Johnni Lee Garner, 49, Margoth Gonzalez, 65, and Hyon Cooley, 47.

The three passengers in the car with Hosey, ages 24, 26 and 31, were hospitalized with serious injuries.

Three people hurt in the crash remained hospitalized, including a 19-year-old in critical condition at University Medical Center and a man and a woman each in good condition at Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center.