Corrales' blood-alcohol level was three times the legal limit

Updated: June 12, 2007, 7:26 PM ET
Associated Press

LAS VEGAS -- Boxer Diego "Chico" Corrales was driving drunk at more than three times the legal limit when he crashed his motorcycle and died, police said Tuesday.

"It's quite possible that had he not been impaired, he could have prevented his accident," Las Vegas police Sgt. Tracy McDonald said after toxicology tests showed Corrales' blood-alcohol content was 0.25 percent. The legal limit for drivers in Nevada is 0.08 percent.

Diego Corrales
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty ImagesFormer two-division champ Diego Corrales was one of the fiercest fighters of his era.

"Bottom line, no one else did anything wrong," McDonald said of an investigation that found speed was a factor and no drugs were in Corrales' system when he died May 7 at age 29. "He basically killed himself."

Corrales had a history of drunken driving and was riding without a valid license, court officials and the state Department of Motor Vehicles have said.

Pat Lamparelli, a Corrales family friend, said Tuesday he was not surprised to learn that Corrales had been drinking before he crashed his 2007 Suzuki while trying to pass another vehicle on a busy residential street about seven miles west of the Las Vegas Strip.

"We did know he did drink," Lamparelli said, speaking for Corrales' pregnant wife, Michelle Corrales. "That's what he used to do. That's public knowledge as far as his DUIs and things like that. Unfortunately, that was one of his demons."

Those close to him also knew Corrales as intelligent, charismatic and a risk-taker who never turned down an autograph and liked high-risk sports like scuba diving and snowboarding.

Michelle Corrales is pregnant and due to deliver the couple's fourth child next month, a son to be named Diego Jr., Lamparelli said. The couple had been trying to reconcile after separating earlier this year.

Lamparelli said family members did not know where Corrales had been before the crash. He was wearing a helmet, but died of head injuries, the Clark County coroner said. The cause of death was ruled an accident.

The coroner tested for 25 drugs and found no legal or illegal substances in Corrales' system, McDonald said, adding that while investigators did not complete calculations of how fast he was riding it was clear Corrales was "well above" the posted speed limit of 35 mph when he crashed.

The Nevada DMV has said Corrales' vehicle and motorcycle licenses were revoked in July 2006 for a drunken driving conviction on an October 2005 arrest.

He faced arrest stemming from a failure to appear in January in a Las Vegas court on a March 2006 DUI arrest, the Clark County district attorney's office said. Charges in that case also included speeding and evading a police officer.

Corrales fought most of his career at 130 pounds, winning lightweight and featherweight titles while compiling a record of 40 wins and five losses, with 33 knockouts.

The crash occurred two years to the day after his most memorable fight, a bout against Jose Luis Castillo in Las Vegas that the Boxing Writers Association of America and numerous boxing publications called the fight of the year.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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