Family reacts to new DUI crash warrant

Posted at 10:55 PM, Feb 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-11 23:56:13-05

Fresh flowers filled the entire dining room of Scott Root’s home Thursday.

The family had so many bouquets following 21-year-old Sarah Root’s weekend funeral, her father said they gave about 20 of them away. The colorful display stood as a testament to the love of family and friends for the recent Bellevue University graduate killed in a deadly crash January 31--one day after graduation.

“My son called me on my cell and said Sarah had been in a wreck and was at The Med Center,” Scott Root said. “So, I went up and had to basically identify her."

Police say 19-year-old Eswin Mejia was driving drunk and racing another vehicle when his Chevy pickup truck rear-ended Root’s SUV at 33rd and L.

Mejia was booked into jail, but bailed out over the weekend. He posted ten percent of a $50,000 bond, or $5000. Douglas county authorities said he failed to appear this week for the sobriety test, which was a condition of his release. They reissued a warrant.

Scott Root said he was angry, but not surprised about Mejia’s disappearance. The family worried Mejia would not show up after he bailed out of jail.

“What part of that doesn’t show you a red flag?” Root asked. “I’m not a rocket-scientist, but you’ve got to think a little bit. I’m just disgusted. I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t be.”

Mejia’s attorney did not take our phone calls Thursday.

Root said the family believed Mejia did not have legal status residency status at the time of the crash. He had previously missed court appearances on other infractions. They were not confident Thursday he would come forward.

“I don't know what else I can say. It is not going to bring [Sarah] back. Somebody has got to be held accountable. Apparently he isn't. So, somebody has to be held accountable,” Scott Root said.

He thanked officers working on the case and said the family continued to hope for justice in Sarah’s death. Root said they plan to advocate for harsher sentences for DUI cases in the future.