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Police: Nampa man admitted to doing shots before fatal Caldwell collision

Grayson Thurston, 20, is charged with aggravated DUI and vehicular manslaughter.
Credit: Canyon Co. Jail
Grayson Thurston

CALDWELL, Idaho — A 20-year-old driver charged with killing a woman in a wreck early Sunday morning told investigators he had been drinking liquor before the collision, according to court documents. 

Grayson Thurston of Nampa is charged with aggravated DUI and vehicular manslaughter. He was arrested Sunday after being released from the hospital. 

The woman killed in the collision was identified as 37-year-old Janet Gonzalez of Caldwell. Two other people in Gonzalez' car, her husband 40-year-old Roberto Gonzalez Diaz and a child whose name has not been released, were injured and taken to area hospitals.

According to the Idaho Press, Gonzalez and her husband worked as carriers for the newspaper and were out picking up papers to deliver when the crash happened just after 2 a.m. on South Florida Avenue near Key West Street.

RELATED: Idaho Press carrier killed in Caldwell crash; man arrested on vehicular manslaughter, DUI charges

According to a probable cause affidavit filed in the case, a witness to the crash told Idaho State Police that he had seen Thurston's Dodge Ram pickup accelerating quickly, then saw "smoke and sparks" from the collision. The witness drove up to the crash and helped pull Thurston out of his pickup, which had overturned.

ISP investigators determined that Thurston had smashed into Gonzalez' Mitsubishi Galant, killing the other driver at the scene. According to court documents, Thurston told a Caldwell Police officer who responded to the crash that he was drunk and "should not have been driving."

Credit: Idaho Press
Janet Gonzalez and her husband, Roberto Gonzalez Diaz, delivered papers for the Idaho Press in Nampa and Caldwell. Janet, 37, was killed in a two-vehicle crash early Sunday morning.

The 20-year-old was taken to Saint Alphonsus Medical Center in Nampa, where he was interviewed by Idaho State Police.

"Thurston admitted to driving and to drinking alcohol before the crash, stating that he had two drinks," ISP Trooper Nathan Edman wrote. "Thurston later admitted that he had two shots of Captain Morgan spiced rum before driving."

According to the affidavit, the suspect said he had been drinking at a friend's house in Caldwell, and consented to a blood draw for testing. The results of the blood-alcohol test have not yet been made public.

RELATED: Two-vehicle crash at Caldwell intersection: Suspect in custody at Canyon County Jail

The trooper noted that even after Thurston was released from the hospital to be transported to jail, he still smelled strongly of alcohol. Thurston was booked into the Canyon County Jail, where he is currently held on a $500,000 bond. 

Gonzalez Diaz has been released from the hospital, according to the Idaho Press. The condition of the child passenger is unknown. 

Thurston is due to appear in court April 17 for a preliminary hearing.