Speed, alcohol factors in Garapan car crash


Traffic investigators have determined that speed and alcohol were factors in the car crash that left the driver and his two passengers seriously injured near the Garapan basketball court early Sunday morning.

Police Sgt. Tom Blas said that Joseph Aaron Hokin, the 26-year-old driver of the gray Ford F150 four-door pickup truck with license plate AEP 902, was cited for speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol, reckless driving, and for seatbelt violations.

Blas said Hokin sustained back pain but was soon released after being treated at the Commonwealth Health Center.

Blas said the two passengers were admitted to the Intensive Care Unit at CHC for observation.

Jack Steven S. Deleon Guerrero, 22, sustained head and back injuries. Saipan Tribune learned that Deleon Guerrero is a firefighter with the Commonwealth Ports Authority.

Leilani S. Cepeda, 23, suffered facial and injuries to the lower extremities, according to Blas.

Blas said Hokin, Deleon Guerrero, and Cepeda were not wearing seatbelts at the time of the accident.

The Department of Public Safety earlier mistakenly reported that the two passengers were females.

Police investigation showed that Police Officer Raymond Pangelinan called DPS Central Dispatch on Sunday at 3:12am to report a car crash on Beach Road in front of the Bank of Guam and Hard Rock Café traffic light intersection.

Medics also responded to the scene.

According to at-scene investigator Juan Mendiola, the Ford F150 pickup truck was traveling south on Beach Road, Garapan, with witnesses saying the truck was travelling at high speed. As the truck approached the traffic signal light intersection, it somehow lost control.

The truck slammed into a steel post at the intersection, went off the road and hit a power pole, and eventually came to rest on the southbound shoulder.

Blas said the truck had extensive damage on all sides.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com

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