Detective: Deadly crash driver speeding, intoxicated

Published 2:31 pm Wednesday, January 17, 2024

By JUSTIN STORY, Bowling Green Daily News

BOWLING GREEN —The driver of a Toyota Corolla involved in a crash earlier this month on Scottsville Road that left a 2-year-old boy dead and a 5-year-old seriously injured was speeding at the time of the crash and well above the legal limit of alcohol intake for drivers, a detective testified.

Jorge Lopez Iturbide, 32, of Franklin, appeared Wednesday in Warren District Court for a preliminary hearing in a case in which he is charged with murder, first-degree assault, first-degree wanton endangerment, first-degree criminal mischief, driving with no operator’s license and operating a motor vehicle while under the influence.

He appeared in court wearing a neck brace.

Iturbide was reportedly behind the wheel of the Corolla that crashed into a Ford Escape on Jan. 6 driven by Braxton Peay in the 5000 block of Scottsville Road, leading to the death of his son, 2-year-old Jhavarion Peay, of Bowling Green.

Jhavarion’s sister, 5-year-old J’cyonna Peay, was hospitalized with multiple injuries.

Detective Jennifer Owen of the Bowling Green Police Department testified that city police were called to the site of the crash at the intersection of Scottsville Road and Cypress Wood Lane around 8 p.m. Jan. 6.

Jhavarion Peay was found unresponsive in a car seat and first aid was performed on him at the scene by bystanders, Owen said, while his older sister was riding in a booster seat.

Both children were taken to a hospital in Nashville, where Jhavarion was pronounced dead on Jan. 8.

Owen said that Jhavarion suffered a brain injury while his sister, J’cyonna, suffered a broken back and shoulder and rib fractures.

Police detected the odor of alcohol coming from Iturbide’s vehicle and he was taken to The Medical Center for treatment of his injuries.

Iturbide was interviewed at the hospital at least twice, Owen said, and reported having drank two or three beers that evening before traveling into Bowling Green to visit a girlfriend.

“Initially, Jorge said he did not realize he had struck someone else,” Owen said. “He said he had a dog with him that jumped into his lap, and that he heard the crash, but did not see it.”

Police obtained a warrant to obtain two blood samples from Iturbide, and Owen testified that tests showed Iturbide had a blood alcohol content of 0.26, well above the legal limit of 0.08 for drivers.

Officers also examined the computer in Iturbide’s vehicle, which indicated that the car was traveling at 77.1 mph when it made impact with Peay’s vehicle, Owen said.

Data from Peay’s vehicle indicated it was traveling at around 10 mph at the point of impact, according to the detective.

Owen said police have retrieved surveillance camera footage from nearby businesses that shows the crash occurring.

Warren District Judge John Brown found probable cause to send Iturbide’s case to a grand jury.

Iturbide remains in Warren County Regional Jail under a $1 million cash bond.