LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Clark County School District Superintendent Dr. Jesus Jara was involved in a multivehicle crash in January but Las Vegas Metro police did not include that information in their report because Jara left before traffic officers arrived, the 8 News Now Investigators confirmed Tuesday.
Jara was a passenger in the crash on Jan. 18 on Desert Inn Road near Paradise Road just west of the Las Vegas Strip. Police cited the man driving Jara, Joseph Caruso, for following too closely. Caruso is listed on CCSD’s website as Jara’s special assistant and liaison to the school board.
The crash happened when the SUV that Caruso was driving collided with the car in front of it, which then rear-ended another vehicle, documents said.
Video the 8 News Now Investigators obtained Tuesday showed Caruso with a bleeding face and hand. The airbags in the vehicle deployed.
“The superintendent was traveling between meetings when the incident occurred,” a CCSD spokesperson said. “When everything appeared safe and authorities were contacted, he departed for his meeting.”
It was unclear where Jara was sitting in the vehicle as the Metro police crash report does not mention him at all. The report said the only occupant was Caruso.
“At no point during the incident did the traffic officer witness the presence of the CCSD Superintendent Jesus Jara, and no one on scene stated he was involved,” a Metro spokesperson confirmed to the 8 News Now Investigators.
The video showed CCSD police arrived at the crash site before Metro. It is customary for another police agency to investigate a crash involving an employee of another department. Jara oversees CCSD police.
911 calls and officer notes the 8 News Now Investigators obtained said Metro and CCSD police dispatchers were aware Jara was in the vehicle.
“During the incident you are inquiring about, an LVMPD traffic officer was dispatched to the scene of a traffic accident,” a Metro spokesperson said. “Upon arrival in the area, the traffic officer was advised by a CCSDPD officer (on [body-worn camera]) that the superintendent may be involved, but neither one of them had arrived on scene to verify this information. “
The Metro officer did not have access to those notes while authoring his report, the Metro spokesperson said.
It is not illegal for a passenger to leave the scene of a crash. Police said the driver was not impaired.