Police: Man charged in I-24 fatal crash was drunk, didn’t help other driver

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A once-convicted drunk driver is blamed for causing a fatal crash on I-24 in South Nashville on Saturday evening, Metro police officials confirm. 

Elvin Portillo, 31, is charged with vehicular homicide by intoxication, leaving the scene of an accident with death and a handful of other crimes. 

According to police, Portillo spun out in his truck and struck a concrete barrier while traveling eastbound on I-24 near Harding Place. Police say another driver crashed his truck and died trying to swerve and avoid Portillo on the roadway. 

The other driver, identified as 57-year-old Bobby Douglas, died on the scene. After he swerved to avoid crashing with Portillo’s truck, officials say, his Ford 5-150 launched partially in the air and collided with a pole on the driver’s side. The truck then caught fire. 

Another passenger in Douglas’ car, Curtis Micheaux Jr., 65, was transported to Vanderbilt with non-life threatening injuries.

Police say Portillo and another man, identified as Sebastian Ramirez Monge, 60, attempted to flee the scene on foot. The men were apprehended by witnesses on the scene and held until police could arrive and take them into custody. 

When officers found Portillo, officials say, he had bloodshot eyes, had an obvious odor of alcohol and displayed other signs of impairment. He admitted to drinking beer earlier in the evening, and officers recovered empty beer cans inside his car. His intoxication level was confirmed by a mandatory blood sample, which was obtained with a search warrant.  

He is charged with vehicular homicide by intoxication,  leaving the scene of a crash, failure to render aid, driving on a revoked license and not having proof of insurance. He is being held at the Davidson County Jail in lieu of a $157,000 bond. 

Portillo was convicted of DUI in 2012 and was ordered to complete DUI school, 24-hours of litter pick-up and pay a $350.00 fine. Court records show he did not do that. His probation officer filed a warrant for his arrest in March 2013. That was served Sunday morning when Portillo was arrested after the fatal crash. 

Monge, who fled with Portillo after the crash, was transported to Vanderbilt Medical Center with minor injuries and was released after being interviewed by investigators. He is not facing charges at this time. 

This is a developing story. Stay with News 2 for updates. 

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