Las Vegas Sun

July 29, 2014

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NHP officer involved in fatal crash surrenders on DUI charge

An off-duty Nevada Highway Patrol sergeant, 46-year-old Edward Lattin of Las Vegas, surrendered on a DUI charge today in connection with a three-vehicle crash that killed one person and sent two other people to a local hospital.

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Edward Lattin

Lattin was booked into the Clark County Detention Center after turning himself into Metro Police at his attorney's office.

Lattin will have his first court hearing on Thursday, according to court records.

The woman killed in the June 11 crash was 49-year-old Ying Warren of Las Vegas.

At first Metro Police investigators believed that Lattin, who is a supervisor for the NHP fatal accident investigation team, had had a medical problem linked to diabetes.

Here is how Metro Police described the crash:

The wreck occurred when a blue pickup truck failed to slow down in the center two-way turn lane on southbound Rainbow Boulevard, just north of Tropicana Avenue. It struck a 1991 Toyota Cressida driven by 50-year-old Manuel Ramirez of Las Vegas. Warren was a passenger in the Toyota.

As the pickup truck rolled onto the trunk and roof of the Toyota, the car rolled over once and was struck by a northbound Chevrolet S-10 pickup driven by 26-year-old Kevin Merrill of Las Vegas.

Merrill, Ramirez and Warren were taken to University Medical Center, where Warren died a short time later. Lattin voluntarily submitted to a blood test which was submitted to Metro's crime lab for testing of alcohol and drugs, police said.

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The results of that test turned up marijuana in Lattin's blood, according to the police report.

Although Lattin was not on duty at the time of the accident and he was driving his personal vehicle, the Nevada Department of Public Safety has opened an internal investigation into Lattin's conduct.

Lattin is on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation being conducted by the department's Office of Professional Responsibility.

"Although this tragic accident did not occur while he (Lattin) was working, the Department of Public Safety has zero tolerance for substance abuse either on or off duty and we, as well as the public we serve, hold our police officers to the highest standards of conduct," said department Director Jerry Hafen in a prepared statement.

"If the findings of the case prove that Sergeant Lattin was driving under the influence of a controlled substance, he will no longer be employable by the Department of Public Safety," Hafen said.

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