A star UNLV basketball recruit was charged with two felonies Thursday after blood tests indicated he was impaired on marijuana at the time of a Dec. 30 vehicle crash that killed a 52-year-old Las Vegas man.
Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Suzan Baucum waived Zaon Collins’ appearance after the filing of a criminal complaint formally charging him with reckless driving and driving under the influence causing death.
Collins, 19, remained free on “the highest level” of electronic monitoring.
“Zaon maintains his innocence and is entitled to a fair and just court process in determining all of the circumstances of the accident,” Collins’ attorneys, David Chesnoff and Richard Schonfeld, said in a statement. “His case will be decided by the rule of law and not by media speculation or emotional reactions.”
A Las Vegas police arrest report for Collins said he was speeding in the moments before the Dodge Challenger he was driving slammed into a car driven by Eric Echevarria, 52, of Las Vegas, near Fort Apache Road and Blue Diamond Road. Echevarria later died at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center. Police also said they found a substance believed to be marijuana in Collins’ vehicle.
The office of Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson said a blood test showed Collins had an amount of THC in his system at the time of the crash that is above the legal limit permitted in Nevada. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the active ingredient found in marijuana.
“The DUI charge stems from the fact that Mr. Collins tested positive for 3.0 ng/ML of THC (marijuana,)” the district attorney’s office said in a statement. “Anything above 2.0 ng/ML is considered impaired.”
A Las Vegas police arrest report said data secured from Collins’ vehicle indicated he was driving at 88 mph in a 35 mph