Suspect says he blacked out before striking, killing woman

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FARMINGTON — A San Juan County man told police he was inhaling from a can of pressurized air and blacked out when he allegedly struck and killed a Farmington woman with his vehicle Thursday.

Myles White, 23, faces four charges, including a second-degree felony count of homicide by vehicle (under the influence of alcohol or drugs) and third-degree felony count of homicide by vehicle (reckless), according to court documents.

He also faces two petty misdemeanors of driving on roadways laned for traffic and drivers must be licensed.

White is accused of taking two to three hits of the can of pressuirzed air, commonly referred to as an air duster, before driving eastbound on West Apache Street and striking and killing 76-year-old Theresa Morris with his vehicle Thursday morning, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.

He did not have legal representation today.

White told a Farmington Police Department sergeant in an interview following the incident he was huffing an air duster before leaving the Walmart parking lot at 1400 W. Main St., according to court documents.

His vehicle was observed by a Farmington police officer around 10:54 a.m. Thursday driving in the opposite lane of traffic heading east on West Apache Street, passing Brook Haven Park East.

The officer observed White's vehicle rubbing against the curb and swerving across the roadway. The officer saw another vehicle take evasive action to avoid the passenger car.

White's vehicle was observed by the officer "side swiping" a mini-van before it left the roadway at 707 W. Apache St, according to court documents.

The vehicle allegedly left the roadway and struck Morris while she was standing in her yard and then drove through a brick fence.

The Chevy Malibu that White was allegedly driving continued through a driveway and hit a residence three houses to the east before coming to a stop between 701 and 703 W. Apache St, according to the affidavit.

The officer approached the vehicle, opened the driver's door of the vehicle and found White sitting in the driver's seat with the airbags deployed.

White was allegedly acting in an erratic fashion, making "larger than normal" movements with his arms and legs. He was also observed swaying from side to side and was speaking quickly, the affidavit states.

The officer noted in the affidavit that he has observed similar behavior from several suspects who were huffing air duster.

Morris was not breathing and did not have a pulse when the officer and a neighbor who was a nurse rolled her over to perform CPR, according to the affidavit.

The officer performed a sobriety test on White and noted he did not display any clues of impairment.

An open can of air duster was later found in White's vehicle.

During an interview, White told the Farmington sergeant he blacked out after huffing the air duster and woke up after the crash.

Joshua Kellogg covers crime, courts and social issues for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at jkellogg@daily-times.com.

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