Las Vegas Sun

November 29, 2021

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Las Vegas man turns himself in after crash kills pedestrian

Jalen Thomas

metro police

Jalen Thomas

A Las Vegas man was persuaded by his mother to turn himself in Monday shortly after leaving a crash that left a 77-year-old pedestrian dead near Tropicana Avenue and Torrey Pines Drive, according to a Metro Police arrest report. 

Jalen Thomas, 21, was arrested for failure to stop at the scene of an accident and DUI resulting in death, after striking Charles Waid on Tropicana, west of Torrey Pines. After Waid was hit, Thomas left the scene “to see his daughter one last time before he went to jail,” and was persuaded by his mother to turn himself in shortly after the incident, according to the arrest report. 

Metro first received a report at 7:04 p.m. of a pedestrian being hit, and medical personnel pronounced Waid dead at the scene. Thomas’ mother drove with him to the site of the crash at 7:42 p.m., in the Kia Cadenza that Thomas said struck Waid. That’s when Thomas admitted he was the driver that hit Waid, according to the report. 

Thomas told officers he was traveling west on Tropicana and was changing lanes from the center to left lane, as was the car in front of him. The car in front of him suddenly changed back to the center lane and that’s when he saw “an older man in front of him” and struck him, sending the man to the ground, according to the report. 

Thomas said he panicked and believed he’d be arrested, so he continued driving, according to the report. Police collected a blood sample from Thomas and conducted a field sobriety test before he was placed under arrest. 

Thomas’ Kia had damage to its front end consistent with debris left at the scene, police said. 

Thomas posted bail Tuesday and is due back in court Oct. 12, according to court records. A defense attorney was not listed.