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Driver charged in fatal crash faces third DUI, records show

A motorist and his clothes smelled of alcohol after he lodged his compact SUV underneath a tractor-trailer in an east valley crash that killed his passenger, Las Vegas police said Monday.

Yaqub Ahmad, 28, has since been charged with one count each of DUI resulting in death and being a felon in possession of a gun, which police said was found in his vehicle’s engine compartment.

This was his third DUI arrest in the jurisdiction in under three years, Las Vegas Justice Court records show.

Ahmad, who suffered life-threatening injuries in the June 20 wreck at Lamb Boulevard and Alto Avenue, is next expected in court Thursday. Police said Ahmad’s Ford Escape crashed into a semi-truck and trailer that was making a turn.

Ahmad and his passenger, Rakeem Lichpenberger, were trapped inside the vehicle and had to be freed by firefighters, according to a Metropolitan Police Department arrest report.

Lichpenberger, 25, died at the scene while Ahmad was taken to University Medical Center in critical condition, police said.

Police could not conduct field-sobriety tests on the motorist due to his injuries, but drew blood, the report stated.

The results of those tests were not included in the arrest report.

The Escape had stolen license plates and investigators found the gun that the report stated had been stolen from a U.S. Postal Service shipment, according to the report.

Ahmad, a convicted felon, was not allowed to own a gun, police said.

He was arrested on a DUI count in November 2019, but prosecutors declined to proceed and the case was closed the next year.

In February 2020, he faced charges of DUI, battery on a protected person, resisting police, making a false statement and carrying a concealed weapon without a permit, records show.

Prosecutors dropped all but the DUI charge, and he was found guilty after a no contest plea, records show.

Contact Ricardo Torres-Cortez at rtorres@reviewjournal.com. Follow @rickytwrites on Twitter.

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