Laramie Taxi Driver Accused Of Injuring Passenger While Driving Drunk
A Laramie taxi driver stands accused of injuring a passenger while driving drunk, and the case is moving forward to Albany County District Court.
James Leroy Rollman, 63, waived his preliminary hearing on Monday. Rollman is charged with felony Driving While Under the Influence Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury. If convicted, Rollman faces a fine of between $2,000 and $5,000, up to 10 years imprisonment, or both.
In addition to the felony charge, Rollman faces several misdemeanor charges including No Valid Driver’s License, Reckless Driving, Commercial Driver with Alcohol in System, Failure to Maintain Liability Coverage, and Failure to Maintain a Single Lane of Travel.
The charges stem from a single vehicle crash that occurred during the early morning hours of March 6, 2015.
According to court documents, police were called to the 400 block of Boswell Drive shortly before 2 a.m. on March 6 for the report of a loud noise and a vehicle revving its engine. Upon arriving at the scene, police found that a van, driven by Rollman, had apparently struck a pole on the south side of Boswell.
Rollman told police that the wreck occurred after a deer ran in front of the vehicle, but he did not remember what happened after that. Court documents state that police were unable to find hooved animal prints in the area.
The only other passenger in the van at the time of the wreck was transported to Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland, Colo. for a neck fracture.
Throughout the investigation, police learned that Rollman was operating as a taxi cab driver and was charging the passenger a fare. Police also learned that Rollman was driving on an expired 30-day Wyoming Driver’s License.
Lieutenant Gwendolyn Smith with the Laramie Police Department confirmed that the department had received reports that Rollman may be operating a taxi cab without proper licensing, but says the department was unable to confirm the reports.
“We hadn’t been able to confirm that when he had people in his vehicle—it doesn’t necessarily mean that he is operating as a taxi,” says Lt. Smith. “So we hadn’t been able to confirm that until this accident.”
Further investigation into the accident indicated that the car was travelling faster than the posted speed limit of 30 mph, left the right lane of travel, drove over the curb through an entry opening, and hit a barrier protection pole.
According to the Affidavit of Probable Cause filed in Albany County Circuit Court, “the van proceeded up the barrier pole and the front right wheel assembly of the van was torn off by the speed and firmness of the barrier pole.” The van then rolled onto its top before rolling to its remaining three tires after hitting the curb.
At the time of the crash, Rollman was released on bond for another alleged Driving While Under the Influence charge.
Documents say that police noticed that Rollman’s pupils were “very constricted” and could “smell an overwhelming odor of a flavored alcoholic beverage emitting from his breath.” After parts of a Standardized Field Sobriety Test were performed, Rollman was placed under arrest and transported to Ivinson Memorial Hospital. Some maneuvers of the test were not performed after Rollman stated that he could not do them due to a previous ankle injury.
When Rollman was advised that police would be applying for a search warrant to obtain a sample of his blood, Rollman told officers that he had taken Nyquil and was on medication for a cold. However, documents indicate that Rollman had earlier denied taking any kind of medication.
Rollman is currently being held at the Albany County Detention Center on a $20,000 cash bond. His arraignment date has not been set.