Well-known El Paso businessman William "Billy" D. Abraham was arrested early Wednesday morning in connection with a hit-and-run traffic collision that resulted in a man's death.
The accident occurred at about 9:41 p.m. Tuesday in the 100 block of Paisano, near El Paso Street. Abraham, driving a 2007 white GMC Sierra pickup westbound on Paisano, allegedly hit 47-year-old Jay Grady while Grady was crossing Paisano from south to north. Grady was not walking in a crosswalk when he was struck.
Police said Abraham fled the scene after the collision. A Border Patrol agent in the area put out a description of the vehicle and another Border Patrol unit spotted the GMC Sierra westbound on Paisano with a broken headlamp and front end damage a few blocks from the collision site.
Abraham refused to stop for Border Patrol agents and he was followed more than five miles when he was stopped at the Sunland Park/I-10 West exit of Paisano, according to police officials.
Grady was taken to University Medical Center in critical condition and later died.
According to the police report, a police officer smelled alcohol on Abraham's breath and asked him how much he had to drink and Abraham responded he did not drink. Officers administered field sobriety tests after Abraham allegedly had slurred, mumbled speech and glassy, bloodshot eyes. Police then asked Abraham to provide a blood sample and Abraham refused. The arresting officer conducted a mandatory blood draw at University Medical Center.
Abraham was placed under arrest and charged with intoxicated manslaughter and accident causing personal injury or death and booked in the El Paso County Jail on a bond of $60,000. Abraham bonded out of jail Wednesday morning. This is the 39th fatality of 2010 compared to 35 in 2009. This is the 12th pedestrian fatality of 2010 compared to three for the same time period in 2009.
Attorney Joseph "Sib" Abraham Jr., who is representing his son, Billy, told ABC-7 he had only briefly spoken to his son.
"I sincerely doubt that my son would ever flee the scene knowingly, I doubt that very seriously," Sib Abraham told ABC-7.
Grady was a drifter who had come to El Paso from Abilene, according to Diego Ochoa, a social worker at the Rescue Mission of El Paso. Grady had stayed at the Rescue Mission of El Paso in 2007 and stayed at the Opportunity Center in 2008.
Billy Abraham is a trustee for the Franklin Group, a real estate company. In 2006, Billy Abraham had a bitter dispute with the city over several properties the city deemed unsafe, among them, the historic A.B. Fall Mansion, which the city took over through eminent domain.
During the dispute, Billy Abraham told ABC-7 he had invested in the core of Downtown El Paso for 20 years.
ABC-7's Celina Avila and Brenda DeAnda Swann contributed to this report.