Court documents show that a 43-year-old man, arrested on a manslaughter charge earlier this month, tested positive for benzodiazepines after a crash that killed a teenager in Pulaski County last year.
Larry Shane Kuykendall was arrested on one count of manslaughter on Feb. 9, according to a report from the Pulaski County sheriff's office. The criminal charge stemmed from a January 2017 vehicle crash that killed 18-year-old Jorge Avalos, according to the court documents.
Kuykendall was arrested at Pulaski County District Court, the sheriff's office report says.
The fatal crash occurred Jan. 24, 2017, around 3:35 p.m. when Kuykendall, driving a Chevrolet Silverado west on Interstate 30, struck a Nissan Titan that was stopped on the shoulder of the median, according to an affidavit.
The document described Kuykendall as the "at fault driver" in the crash and said Kuykendall "failed to keep a proper look out."
The Chevrolet traveled out of the lane, went onto the shoulder in the median and crashed into the back of the Nissan, which had run out of fuel, the affidavit says.
Authorities said Avalos was a passenger in the back seat of the Nissan.
"The force of the collision was so severe that Jorge Avalos sustained injuries that caused his death," according to the affidavit.
Avalos received first aid on scene and was taken to the UAMS Medical Center, police reported. The affidavit said Avalos died at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences hospital due to a brain injury he suffered in the crash. At the hospital, both Kuykendall and the driver of the Nissan, Omar Avalos, provided blood samples, the document said.
According to the affidavit, the lab results found Kuykendall was "positive" for benzodiazepines, which are sedatives, and "hydrocodone was also present."
The documents say there were prescription bottles inside Kuykendall's vehicle before it was towed. The prescription bottles were for Xanax, Zanaflex, Lopressor and Concerta, according to the documents. The affidavit did not specify to whom the prescription bottles belonged.
Arkansas law states, in part, that a person commits manslaughter if "the person recklessly causes the death of another person."
In July, Kuykendall pleaded no contest to a charge of driving while intoxicated related to a March 2017 offense, according to online court records.
Kuykendall did not appear on the Pulaski County jail's inmate roster Monday night.
Information for this article was contributed by Brandon Riddle of Arkansas Online.
Metro on 02/20/2018
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