Police Department

Posted on: July 6, 2017

Charges filed regarding fatal crash

Orlando Padilla crash (website)

A Roswell man has been charged in connection with a May 2015 five-vehicle crash in downtown Roswell that resulted in the death of a local woman. The man is accused of driving under the influence of a prescription drug when he allegedly caused the crash.

Orlando Padilla, 68, is charged with homicide by vehicle and DWI (involving a drug). The criminal complaint and arrest warrant were filed June 28 in Roswell Magistrate Court. That day, the Roswell Police Department’s investigating officer in this case attempted to contact Padilla at his home, but was unsuccessful. However, Padilla’s adult son was there and was informed of the warrant and asked to tell his father to turn himself in. Padilla turned himself in to authorities at Magistrate Court the morning of July 3. Padilla was booked into the Chaves County Detention Center and that afternoon was released on a $5,000 surety bond.

The investigating officer concluded his investigation and report in early 2016 and turned over the material to the Fifth Judicial District Attorney’s Office for consideration of prosecution. Since then, the District Attorney’s Office has been reviewing the case and recently approved the filing of the charges.

Padilla (inset with photo from May 18, 2015 crash) is accused of being under the influence of a medication used to treat insomnia when the pickup truck he was driving crashed into the rear of a pickup truck driven by 77-year-old Zora Lykins as Lykins’ pickup was stopped at a red light and waiting in the left-turn lane on southbound Main Street at its intersection with Fifth Street. The RPD investigation found Padilla’s pickup was traveling south on Main Street and traveling at about 10 mph more than the 25-mph speed limit when the crash occurred.

The impact of Padilla’s pickup into Lykins’ pickup sent Lykins’ pickup forward across the intersection, causing it to strike three vehicles that were waiting at the red light in the northbound lanes of Main Street. None of the occupants of those vehicles was seriously injured.

The May 18, 2015, crash occurred about 9 a.m. Immediately following the crash, Lykins was unresponsive in her pickup. She was transported to a local hospital and then flown to a Texas hospital for further treatment of severe injuries. She died at that hospital May 21, 2015, three days after the crash. Padilla was transported to a local hospital after the crash. He was complaining of neck pain. Lykins and Padilla were the lone occupants of each of their respective vehicles.

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