LAS VEGAS (AP) - A driver who authorities accused of driving drunk and failing to yield to an emergency vehicle saw and heard no flashing lights or siren before a crash that killed a police officer, his lawyer said.
Calvin Darling released a statement Monday saying he saw three vehicles approaching before the early Thursday crash on Flamingo Road, but judged them to be far enough away for him to turn left across their path to Ravenwood Drive.
A patrol car driven by Officer James Manor skidded and slammed into Darling's Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck a little before 1 a.m., authorities said. Manor was trapped for a time in the demolished patrol car before he was pronounced dead at University Medical Center in Las Vegas.
Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie said Thursday that Manor, 28, a police officer for nearly two years, was responding to an emergency call with his lights and siren activated. Neighbors, witnesses and Darling's lawyer have since cast doubt on that account.
"At no time ... did Mr. Darling either see or hear any emergency lights or sirens," lawyer Sean P. Sullivan said in the statement, which notes that Darling was never before accused of drinking and driving and was never found at fault in a traffic crash.
Sullivan did not immediately respond Tuesday to a message seeking comment.
Manor was being followed by another officer in another police car to a report of a violent domestic disturbance involving a 14-year-old girl who told police dispatchers she had been assaulted by her father and was bleeding, Gillespie has said. The name of the other officer has not been made public.
The girl's mother told police she and her husband were not at home at the time, that the girl made up the story and was not injured.
On Monday, the sheriff said the accident remained under investigation.
Formal charges have not been filed against Darling, whose initial court appearance was postponed Monday and rescheduled.
Police said Darling, 45, an engineer at the Bellagio resort on the Las Vegas Strip, acknowledged consuming "three or four" beers at a bar after getting off work less than two hours before the crash.
Police said he failed a field sobriety test of eye movements at the hospital.
Darling was later jailed on suspicion of felony driving under the influence and failure to yield to an emergency vehicle, but freed Friday without bail after authorities said a blood test showed his blood-alcohol content was below the Nevada legal limit of 0.08 percent.
A funeral for Manor is set for Friday at the International Church of Las Vegas. Visitation was scheduled Thursday at the downtown Palm Mortuary.