October 08, 2018

Update on October 5th traffic crash investigation

Rapid City police continue to investigate the October 5th traffic crash at the intersection of East Boulevard and E. New York Street.

A Pontiac Grand Prix attempted a left turn onto westbound E. New York St, from northbound East Boulevard. A Pontiac Bonneville traveling southbound on East Boulevard struck the Pontiac Grand Prix and a third vehicle.

Two adult occupants of the Grand Prix were transported for the treatment of life-threatening injuries. A 1-year-old infant who was also in the Grand Prix at the time of the crash has since died from her injuries. Her identity is being withheld as we work to make proper notification to next-of-kin.

Shortly after the time of the crash, police located 33-year-old Joseph Morado underneath the East Boulevard bridge. Local authorities had received an alert that he had cut his ankle monitor off. At the time of contact, Morado was highly intoxicated, belligerent, had methamphetamine on his person, and made statements referencing his involvement in the recent traffic crash. He matched the suspect description given of the driver, and further, a witness positively identified Morado as the suspect driver. As law enforcement worked in the ensuing hours to follow up on these claims, police determined Morado was not in the area of the crash when it occurred. This was determined through examination of his ankle monitor’s GPS history. Morado was placed under arrest for a Bond Revocation, and Possession of a Controlled Substance, however, he is no longer the focus of the traffic crash investigation.

“It is apparent that the driver of the Pontiac Bonneville responsible for the crash fled the scene shortly after it happened,” says Captain John Olson of the RCPD’s Criminal Investigation Division. “With the tragic loss of life in this case, it’s imperative that we work to get the best understanding of the circumstances surrounding the crash. Detectives have spent all weekend actively pursuing leads in this case, and we are additionally calling for assistance from the community. We are asking that anyone who may have witnessed the crash contact Detective Ryan Gebhard at 394-4134. The public can also send an anonymous tip by texting ‘RCPD’ and the info to 847411. The collective sympathies of the RCPD go out to those victimized in this crash, and to their families.”

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