Home>702Times>Driver Who Killed 9 Going 103 Mph in Las Vegas-Area Crash Was Repeatedly Stopped for Speeding on Paper He Was a Bad Parker

Driver Who Killed 9 Going 103 Mph in Las Vegas-Area Crash Was Repeatedly Stopped for Speeding on Paper He Was a Bad Parker

By TheNevadaGlobeStaff, January 31, 2023 7:00 am

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (702 Times, NV Globe) –The man accused of causing a catastrophe that killed nine people, including himself, had a history of speeding, but those violations did not appear on his driving record since they resulted in smaller parking penalties and fines.

Gary Dean Robinson, 59, of North Las Vegas, was driving a Dodge Challenger when he sped through a red light at 103 mph at the junction of Commerce Street and Cheyenne Avenue, colliding with a minivan carrying a family of seven.

The crash occurred on January 29, 2022. Robinson had pled guilty only days previously for exceeding the speed limit by up to ten miles per hour on December 9, 2021, according to court documents. He was fined $150. According to records acquired by 8 News Now, Robinson was really driving 19 mph over the speed limit before being cited on a lesser penalty.

Fernando Yeshua Mejia, 5; Adrian Zacarias, 10; Lluvia Daylenn Zacarias, 13; Bryan Axel Zacarias, 15; Gabriel Mejia-Barrera, 23; David Mejia-Barrera, 25; and Jose Zacarias-Caldera, 35 were all riding in the minivan at the time of the incident.

Tanaga Ravel Miller, 46, of North Las Vegas, and Robinson were both slain. The collision affected 15 persons in all.

“What did he take away from you?” Investigator David Charns asked Erlinda Zacarias, mother to four in the minivan, stepmother to two and sister to one.

“My life,” she replied. She and her husband, Jesus Mejia, were at their North Las Vegas home at the time of the crash. They lost their entire family.

The seven family members went out to lunch and then to a park on Sunday. Zacarias had spoken to her daughter earlier in the day, but there had been silence for a while.

“I just think it’s a dream or something,” Zacarias said. “When I wake up, I say, ‘No this is true.’ There’s nothing I can do about it. Nothing I can change.”

“There’s no way to say to you how I’m feeling because I still hurt from that,” Zacarias said.

Despite being stopped multiple times for speeding, Robinson’s driving record includes only one documented speeding ticket, according to the NTSB. According to the data seen by 8 News Now, the speeding fines were reduced to lesser offences.

According to the report, investigators discovered court receipts from both North Las Vegas and Las Vegas in Robinson’s automobile. Robinson’s most recent ticket, dated December 9, 2021, was not yet on his official driving record, according to the NTSB.

“The other was a receipt from the Las Vegas Municipal Court dated December 28, 2021, which showed a guilty plea for speeding 16-20 miles per hour over the limit,” the report said. “This ticket was also not reflected on his official Nevada driving record nor had the 2 demerit points been assigned for this offense.”

The body camera footage acquired by 8 News Now Investigators from Robinson’s December 2021 traffic stop shows him rummaging in his glove compartment for papers. Robinson was caught going 64 mph in a 45-mph zone, which was 19 miles over the speed limit.

Robinson explained to the officer that he was driving home from work. He’s driving the identical automobile that will become a murder weapon a month later.

“Is your driver’s license going to be good?” the officer said to Robinson as he walks back to his bike to run Robinson’s license. Though police had stopped him at least five times before this stop, Robinson’s 10-year driving record would show just one moving violation.

In May 2017, Henderson police accused Robinson with exceeding the speed limit by 11 to 20 miles per hour. The accusation was reduced to one of unauthorized parking. Robinson was fined $198 by the judge.

Robinson’s license was suspended from December 2017 until January 2020 because he did not pay the fine, according to documents.

North Las Vegas police stopped Robinson in August 2020 for driving 50 mph in a 45-mph zone. Following a $346 fine, the case was reduced to a parking infraction.

North Las Vegas police stopped Robinson again in November 2020, this time for driving 67 mph in a 45-mph zone. Robinson pled nolo contendre, which means he agreed that prosecutors had enough evidence to prosecute him but did not admit guilt. He was fined $604 for his actions.

Three months later, in February 2021, Nevada State Police pulled Robinson up for doing 80 mph in a 65-mph zone. He pled nolo contendre once again. The penalty was $643.

In August 2021, Las Vegas police accused Robinson for driving 55 mph in a 35-mph zone. He entered a guilty plea and the prosecution was reduced to a parking violation. A fine was imposed but later withdrawn.

“Ten over – everything else is good,” the officer said to Robinson as he returns to the car in what would be Robinson’s final stop. “You were doing 64 — 19 over. Could have been twice as bad,” the officer said.

Though the police reduced Robinson’s speeding ticket from 10-to-19 over the limit to zero-to-10 over, Robinson was still obligated to appear in court. The penalty would also be lowered to an unlawful parking infraction with a cost of $150.

According to documents, the tickets implicate multiple authorities and jurisdictions, including municipal and judicial courts.

“Everything looks like you’re doing a bunch of illegal parking all over the place when in reality, you’re a horrible driver,” former DUI prosecutor Thomas Moskal said. Since leaving the Clark County District Attorney’s Office, Moskal now represents DUI suspects.

As per court papers, Robinson’s driving record shows no active demerit points and no moving violations other than the 2017 ticket.

“At what point does that flag get raised and why don’t you think it was raised in this case?” Charns asked Moskal.

“It’s not raised in this case because of volume,” he said. “The most commonly cited thing in the criminal justice system is traffic infractions.”

Prosecutors do not have the time nor the resources to review specifics in speeding ticket cases, Moskal said.

“We’re prosecutors that are handling some of the most serious cases in the county and we’ll be given on a Friday morning, ‘Here are 150 traffic tickets,’” Moskal said. “‘Try to negotiate them because we don’t want to see these things to trial.’”

A year after Robinson killed her family, Zacarias said she does not drive through the intersection. She said the system failed.

“They have to do something because people are driving and they just go and pay for classes like a parking ticket,” she said. “Nothing is going to change. Nothing here in Nevada.”

Had anyone seen how bad of a driver Gary Robinson really was, the faces tattooed on her arm may be alive today.

“For us, nothing is nice and happy because we lost everything,” she said.

The Nevada Legislature made speeding fines a civil offense in 2021, which means offenders no longer have to appear in court. The process is now simplified online and no longer bears the threat of jail time.

Despite the fact that he passed away in January 2022, 8 News Now Investigators discovered many warrants for Robinson’s arrest for failing to pay some of those speeding-related penalties. The new statute nullified all outstanding warrants for unpaid penalties, including Robinson’s.

It is unclear what the regulation would entail for repeat offenders who appear to be terrible parkers rather than speeders.

Credits: 8 NEWS NOW

Copyright 2023 702 Times, NV Globe. All rights reserved.

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