EDINBURG — Approximately 13 hours after McAllen police arrested then 29-year-old Leonel Martinez Adame after a fatal hit-and-run accident, he told a detective that a man he didn’t know just jumped right in front of his truck.
“And then it happened and I kept on driving because I’m in panic mode,” Adame said, adding that he was in shock after seeing the man fly to the left of his truck after impact at the intersection of 15th Street and West U.S. Business Highway 83 at 2:21 a.m. on July 15, 2017.
That man was 21-year-old Kevin Andrade, who flew 54 feet after being hit. He died from his injuries.
Adame is in the second day of trial on a count of intoxication manslaughter and a count of accident involving death.
He has entered not guilty pleas to the accusations.
On Thursday afternoon, the jury viewed a video of his interview with detectives after his arrest where he admitted to running and was cooperative with the investigators, a fact to which McAllen Police Department Detective Jose Carpentir testified.
Adame told the detective that the accident happened after he left the Brickhouse in downtown McAllen where he drank four jack and cokes and had three tequila shots with several friends while discussing a business venture over a four-hour period.
When asked about the accident, Adame said “Somebody just jumped in front of me.”
He then admitted to hitting Andrade, whose blood alcohol was .27.
Adame maintained from the beginning that he had a green light at the intersection and told Carpentir there was no chance he could have avoided the man.
As for why he fled, Adame said “I was just panicked. I was in shock.”
He told the detective that he was focused on the traffic and that the alcohol he consumed didn’t impact his ability to drive.
“I just didn’t see him coming,” Adame said.
Adame also expressed remorse for leaving the scene and asked the detective to tell Andrade’s family he was sorry.
Carpentir also testified that Adame was over the legal limit of alcohol to drive.
The trial is scheduled to continue Friday.