Murder charge against driver in fatal crash goes to grand jury

jwarren@herald-leader.comJuly 18, 2014 

Angel Albeno Mejia, 24, of Winchester, was charged with murder in a fatal crash on eastbound Interstate 64 in Fayette County that killed a Somerset woman on Saturday, June 21, 2014.

Murder and other charges against a Winchester man stemming from a fatal wreck in June should go to a Fayette County grand jury, a judge ruled Friday.

After a preliminary hearing, Fayette District Judge Julie Muth-Goodman ruled that there was enough evidence against Angel Albeno Mejia, 24, to send the case to the grand jury.

Mejia is charged with murder, first-degree wanton endangerment and leaving the scene of an accident.

Lexington police say Mejia was driving at high speed on the evening of June 21 when his Ford Explorer collided with a Chevy Blazer on eastbound Interstate 64 in Fayette County.

A passenger in the Blazer, Wanda Beach, 68, of Somerset, was ejected from that vehicle. She died later at University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital.

Mejia also was injured. Police say he ran from the crash and was found hiding in a hay barn.

Sgt. Ronald Keaton, an investigator with the Lexington police department's accident reconstruction unit, testified about the crash during Friday's hearing.

Keaton said five witnesses told police that Mejia's Explorer was traveling as fast as 90 mph, passing cars and weaving in and out of traffic just before the wreck. One woman said she tried to phone police to report the fast driving, Keaton said.

Officers at the scene concluded that no one else was in the Ford Explorer, according to Keaton.

A blood test performed at the hospital after the crash showed that Mejia's blood-alcohol level was .164, Keaton said.

The wreck occurred on I-64, east of the Interstate 64-75 split, and about six miles from the Clark County line.

Keaton testified that the endangerment charge against Mejia stems from injuries to Larry Moore, the driver of the Chevy Blazer.

Police used a helicopter and search dogs in search for Mejia Keaton said.

Jim Warren: (859) 231-3255.

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