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Drunk driver kills man working on roadway, gets caught after fleeing

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Updated: 7/21/2014 4:34 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV -- A man doing concrete work on a roadway was killed early Sunday by a drunk driver in a hit-and-run accident.

"Something like this is senseless," Detective Rich Tusko told News 3 as Metro's fatal detail investigated the scene. "Somebody who gets behind the wheel driving when there's no excuse for that anymore. You can call someone to drive you home. Here the individual is earning money for his family on a Sunday and he gets hit by a drunk driver."

Authorities say the crash happened about 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, while the construction worker was cutting asphalt with a wet saw on West Sahara Avenue between Las Verdes Street and Valley View.

The victim was a man in his 50s who was using a wet saw to cut the pavement in the bus lane. 

The driver of the pickup fled the scene on foot, but was found in a dumpster after a short foot chase, Metro said.

Police say a Ford F-150 veered out of its lane and hit the worker while he was in the bus lane. Investigators say the truck also hit an empty Chevy nearby before the driver walked away from the scene without helping the victim.

The 57-year-old construction worker was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver was later found hiding in a trash bin at a nearby apartment complex. He was arrested on suspicion of DUI.

Police identified him as 54-year-old Rafael Mendez-Soto.

The accident was the 44th traffic-related fatality in Metro's jurisdiction this year and the second within seven hours. An accident at Mountain Vista Street and Carol Circle killed a woman at about 3 a.m. Sunday. She was not wearing a seat belt.

The identity of the victim as well as the cause of death will be released after relatives have been notified and an autopsy has been conducted by the Clark County coroner's office.



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