Crime

New Plymouth man cited in May wreck that seriously injured 80-year-old driver

Oscar Cisneros, 20, has been cited for careless or inattentive driving for his actions in a wreck on Interstate 84 that injured himself and another driver.

Cisneros was headed west on the freeway at 7:26 a.m. on May 14 when his 2007 Hummer H3 drifted from the left lane into the right lane. The front passenger side of his vehicle struck the left rear end of a 1959 Ford Thunderbird traveling in the same direction, according to a crash report from the Idaho State Police. The incident happened at Milepost 12, near the Black Canyon exit in Payette County.

The Thunderbird, driven by Ronald Dietzler of Meridian, and the Hummer entered the median and rolled, Idaho State Police said at the time. The Hummer came to rest on two wheels on the driver’s side in an eastbound freeway lane, while the Thunderbird stopped in the median, upside-down.

Both men were injured.

Cisneros told a trooper he fell asleep. He said he also consumed two beers the night before at a friend’s house, according to the crash report.

A witness who stopped told Trooper Christian Briggs that she saw Cisneros walking around bleeding. She said he admitted to her that he was drunk. She said she smelled alcohol on him.

A second witness, an off-duty EMT who arrived a couple of minutes after the crash, said he also spoke with Cisneros. He said the driver told him he had been up drinking and fell asleep on his way home.

While Cisneros was treated at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Fruitland, he consented to having a blood sample taken. An analysis was negative for the presence of alcohol or drugs, the report said.

The drug test results did not come back until Sept. 9, explaining why Cisneros was not cited in the case until Sept. 19. He is scheduled to be arraigned Oct. 3 in Payette County Magistrate Court.

Cisneros admitted having a fake ID at the time of the wreck. Troopers recovered a temporary driver’s license that contained Cisneros’ photo and a different person’s name. He told Briggs he used the ID to get into dances in Oregon open to people 21 or older.

He also had a valid Idaho driver’s license, the trooper reported.

Dietzler, 80 at the time of the wreck, was headed to a car show with his Thunderbird. He suffered serious injuries, including a broken arm and a fractured neck.

He has incurred more than $100,000 in medical expenses and is still recuperating, his wife, Judie Dietzler, said. The couple has filed a personal injury lawsuit against Cisneros in Payette County District Court.

Cisneros spent four days in jail in 2014 after conviction in Payette County for driving without privileges. Previously, he was convicted twice in 2011 for failing to purchase a license. He paid $503 in fines in those cases.

If convicted for inattentive driving, Cisneros would face up to 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $300.

John Sowell: 208-377-6423, @IDS_Sowell

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