Accused drunk driver behind bars as victim's loved ones mourn his death
An accused drunk driver is behind bars after a deadly crash over the weekend. Video by ktnv.comvideo
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Las Vegas Metropolitan Police officers say a drunk driver with a long history of trouble is responsible for a deadly head-on collision with a motorcycle over the weekend.
Authorities say 37-year-old Prentiss Bates was charged with drunken driving just over a year ago in a separate case. They say he also had a long list of traffic citations, drug posession charges and was even convicted of possession of a stolen vehicle.
Bates is now behind bars at the Clark County Detention Center.
Meanwhile, the victim in the fatal crash is being remembered by those close to him. He was 58-year-old Jim Burchette.
"I didn't believe this until I got here, that this can actually hit this close to home. Especially when I just talked to my best friend yesterday," said Kenny Dodge.
The two men spoke on the phone just minutes before the crash that claimed Burchette's life. Police say Bates was driving drunk when he crossed over the center median on Nellis Boulevard just north of Cheyenne, slamming into Burchette on his motorcycle head on.
Burchette was just minutes from home. He leaves behind two sons and a wife.
"His family always came first. No matter what," said Dodge.
They had just put up their Christmas tree for the holidays when they heard the news.
"I still can't believe it so i can imagine that the family is still absorbing it," said Dodge. "They want to wake up tomorrow and they want to see that this was all a bad dream."
Burchette was an experienced motorcycle rider. Police on scene said he tried an expert manuever to avoid the collision, but the impact was just too much.
His best friend, who rode with him every Sunday, said his loss is just sinking in.
"I don't think they'll ever make another one like Jim, ever," said Dodge. "I just lost a one-of-a-kind friend."
The crash involving Burchette was the most severe of the crashes Metro saw over Thanksgiving weekend.
As the holiday season continues, they remind everyone not to drink and drive.