(posted March 5, 7:05 a.m.)- A horrific string of drunken driving accidents early Sunday morning in the northern city of Estelí claimed the lives of five people and injured six others, including one person who is hospitalized in critical condition.
According to local media reports, Lenín Avilés Hernández, 29, was drunken driving his Honda Acura along the Inter-American Highway when he crashed into a taxi and tried to flee. Some 300 meters further up the road, Avilés crashed again into police patrol car, killing officer Leonel Valenzuela. He then swerved off the road and ran over nine more people, including several fruit vendors and a prostitute on the side of the highway.
Aviles, however, still tried to flee by attempting a U-turn and crashing into another fruit stand, killing a 15-year-old and several other vendors were sleeping under plastic tarps
According to police, Avilés had been seen by several other people tearing around the city in a haze of drunken stupidness, which is what prompted the police patrol to try to stop him in the first place.
In a sad sign of the times, news of the drunken vehicular violence prompted several Nicaraguans to post comments in online reader forums saying they hope Avilés doesn’t get a reduced sentence because of his political affiliation or because he was drunk—two factors that people have started to equate with impunity in Nicaragua’s broken judicial system.