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Crash victim's wife livid over motions to dismiss Zaon Collins DUI charges

Ana Marie Echevarria
Posted at 5:15 PM, Apr 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-22 20:53:45-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — A Las Vegas valley basketball star accused in a deadly high-speed crash wants some evidence tossed out. His lawyer is challenging Nevada’s marijuana DUI law as unreliable.

The widow of the man killed in the crash says she is livid.

RELATED: Lawyers for basketball recruit Zaon Collins want all charges dismissed

“If you decide to get high and get behind in a vehicle, you’re now in a weapon," said Ann Marie Echevarria. "You’re using your weapon to kill someone and that’s exactly what he did.”

Echevarria is heated after hearing attorneys for Zaon Collins are looking to dismiss charges against him.

Court documents show a motion to dismiss charges of DUI and reckless driving, saying Nevada’s laws on DUI related to marijuana are “unscientific and arbitrary.”

Echevarria doesn’t believe it.

“He was high. He was speeding and it was his decision to smoke weed whenever they think he smoked it, but it’s still in his system,” she said.

Collins was involved in a dealy crash in December that killed 52-year-old Eric Echevarria.

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department investigators say Eric Echevarria's car was hit by Collins as he made a left turn. Investigators also say Collins had a jar with a “green leafy substance” in the car and appeared high while testing positive for THC.

Collins’ lawyers sent a statement saying: "We look forward to litigating the motions in court and note that the Motion to Dismiss parallels activity presently occurring in our state legislature."

Under current law, whether a driver is impaired or not, if a blood test shows even the slightest evidence of prior marijuana use, they will be convicted of a DUI.

The state legislature is considering a bill, AB 400 which would require evidence of driver impairment. Supporters of the bill argue that, unlike alcohol, marijuana can stay in the system for a long time.

RELATED: Nevada's marijuana DUI law explained and how it might change

Nevada Highway Patrol officers say they are trained to detect marijuana much like alcohol.

“I am trained to detect impairment not necessarily whether this person's on this thing or on this substance. We’re out there looking to see if somebody is being a hazard to everyone else on the roadway,” said Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Travis Smaka.

Echevarria believes Collin’s lawyers are stalling and wants accountability.

"He’s not going to go down and walk away from this. There’s no way," she said. "From my dying breath, I will make sure that he goes to prison.”

We reached out to the Clerk County District Attorney’s Office but, didn’t hear back by deadline.

The court hearing on the motions will be in July.

Echevarria says there will be a candlelight vigil and protest next Thursday at the crash site.