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Police say Centerton man run over doing donuts in hayfield

Manslaughter suspect held on $150,000 bond by Tracy Neal | July 29, 2021 at 7:00 a.m.
File photo

BENTONVILLE -- A Centerton man died after falling from a pickup, which then ran over him, according to a probable cause affidavit filed Tuesday.

Miguel Vega, 39, of Rogers was being held Wednesday in the Benton County Jail. He was arrested in connection with manslaughter, requirements in accidents involving death or personal injuries and endangering the welfare of a minor in the first degree.

Prosecutors haven't filed formal charges against him. Vega's bond was set at $150,000.

Authorities found the body of Lester Salcedo, 27, in a field off Phillips Cemetery Road between Highfill and Cave Springs.

Vega was arrested July 22 by Tontitown police in connection with public intoxication after a police officer encountered him running east on U.S. 412, according to a probable cause affidavit.

The officer asked Vega if a nearby abandoned pickup was his. Vega said it was, but he wasn't the one who was driving, according to the affidavit.

Vega told police Salcedo had been in the pickup, but now he didn't know where Salcedo was. He said the two had been in a fight, according to the affidavit.

Tontitown police later learned a missing person report on Salcedo had been filed with the Centerton Police Department.

Police pinged Vega's phone believing it may be near Salcedo. The ping returned with a general location of Mill Dam Road and Philpott Road, according to the affidavit.

That led authorities to a hayfield at 11104 Phillips Cemetery Road in Benton County. Police found Salcedo's body surrounded by tire marks where a vehicle had been driving in circles, according to the affidavit.

A 12-year-old boy later told police he was with Vega and Salcedo, and the pair had been drinking a "weird" beverage from a jar, according to the affidavit. The boy said the two continued to drink in the pickup.

The boy said he was in the pickup's backseat while Vega was driving and Salcedo was in the passenger seat, according to the affidavit. He said they started doing donuts in a field, but the passenger door wouldn't latch and Salcedo fell out of the pickup. He said Salcedo was dirty from falling out of the pickup, and Vega and Salcedo laughed about it, according to the affidavit.

They started doing circles again, and the door came open a second time. Salcedo fell out and the pickup ran over him, according to the affidavit.

Vega stopped the pickup. The boy said he checked Salcedo's pulse, and it was weak. The boy said he felt broken ribs when he pressed on Salcedo's chest, according to the affidavit.

Vega's arraignment is scheduled for 8 a.m. Aug. 23 in Benton County Circuit Judge Brad Karren's court.

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