April 2012 Archives

April 29, 2012

Wrongful Death Case Filed in Fatal Santa Fe Drunk Driving Accident

766348_traffic_light%20sxchu.jpgA wrongful death lawsuit was recently filed in connection with the December 30, 2011 death of a four-year-old girl in Santa Fe. At the time of the accident, a minivan carrying Yuliana Aremi Reyes Vasquez, her sister, and her mother was struck as it made a left turn from Siringo Road onto St. Francis Drive. The sport utility vehicle that collided with the minivan was driven by 56-year-old Deborah Aaron, a Santa Fe surgeon who was allegedly intoxicated at the time of the accident.

According to Santa Fe police, the girl’s mother, Karla Aremi Vasquez Rivera, was initially unsure whether she had a green light at the time of the crash. Her lawsuit, however, maintains that Vasquez Rivera proceeded into the intersection on a green arrow. The lawsuit also alleges Aaron ran a red light before colliding with the minivan. Although her mother and sister were also injured, Yuliana died as a result of the injuries she sustained in the accident.

A police officer’s report stated Aaron had bloodshot eyes and smelled of alcohol following the accident. She also reportedly failed a field sobriety examination administered by local police. Following the crash, Aaron was arrested and charged with vehicular homicide. Her blood alcohol content measured .08 percent, the level at which drivers are presumed to be intoxicated in the State of New Mexico.

At least one car accident witness told law enforcement officials that Aaron had the right of way and did not run a red light. According to the witness, Reyes Vasquez entered the intersection improperly and caused the collision. Due to conflicting witness accounts, an indictment against the surgeon has not yet been filed by prosecutors. Police investigators are currently attempting to ascertain which driver in fact had a green light. Aaron is currently free on a $100,000 bond and awaiting a court ruling regarding whether her driver’s license will be revoked.

In her lawsuit, Vasquez Rivera is seeking monetary and compensatory damages for wrongful death from both Aaron and her insurance company. If you were hurt or a loved one was killed in a tragic accident caused by an intoxicated driver, contact an experienced New Mexico drunk driving attorney to discuss your options.

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April 20, 2012

Teen Suspected of DWI Causes Crash in Downtown Santa Fe

802084_cans%20sxchu.jpgLast week, a teen driver allegedly under the influence of alcohol collided with a minivan driven by a 66-year-old woman in downtown Santa Fe. The 16-year-old driver was headed north on De Fouri Street when he reportedly struck the front tire of the minivan. The van was then forced over the curb and hit the wall of a nearby historic building. Following the crash, the owner of Alpine Builders Supply, the business located inside of the more than 100-year-old building, was temporarily trapped inside his office.

Santa Fe Police Captain Aric Wheeler stated there were signs of alcohol use inside the teen’s vehicle, but he was unsure whether the juvenile would be charged with driving while intoxicated. A New Mexico juvenile probation and parole officer will determine whether the teen will be jailed over the incident.

According to witnesses, the teen and a companion fled the scene following the crash. The driver of the minivan and her 12-year-old passenger were taken to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center for minor injuries. Following a field sobriety test, the 16-year-old was eventually treated at the same hospital for minor injuries.

The owner of the business hit, Jim George, said one of the inner walls of the building shifted such that he could not leave his office. George’s son reportedly freed him using a pry bar from the shop’s inventory. Boards now cover holes in the wall of the historic building. George’s son stated the crash was loud and he expected the driver who hit the building to suffer from serious injuries.

Alcohol-related accidents are all too common in New Mexico. Unfortunately, everyone on the road is put at risk each time an impaired driver chooses to get behind the wheel of an automobile. When a driver is accused of drunk driving, criminal charges may be filed. Additionally, an injured victim may sue the allegedly intoxicated driver for damages related to an accident. Although an impaired driver’s automobile insurance limits may be insufficient to cover all of a victim’s damages, an injured person may also choose to file a claim against a bar or restaurant at which an inebriated driver was served. Contact a capable New Mexico drunk driving attorney to learn more about so-called dram shop cases.

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April 12, 2012

Charges Filed Against Driver Who Killed Albuquerque Bicyclist

1356569_bicycle_macro%20sxchu.jpgAn Albuquerque driver who allegedly ran a red light and killed a bicyclist on his way home from work earlier this year was recently charged with misdemeanor careless driving. According to Albuquerque police, 58-year-old Carol Svinarich failed to stop at a red light while headed west through the intersection of Academy Parkway NE and Osuna on January 10th. Her sport utility vehicle struck 55-year-old Scott Dwane Lane’s bicycle as he rode through the intersection. Lane, a vice president at Sun Country Industries and father of four, was reportedly thrown 30 feet into the air on impact. Following the accident, Lane was taken to the University of New Mexico Hospital where he died.

Svinarich initially claimed the light was green when she went through the intersection. Later, she told police officers the sun was in her eyes and admitted the light may have been yellow when she struck Lane. At least three witnesses, including one who called emergency responders immediately following the accident, told Albuquerque police officers the bicyclist entered the intersection with a green light while Svinarich ignored a red traffic signal. According to Albuquerque police, alcohol was not a suspected factor in the crash and the collision was caused by driver inattention. If convicted, Svinarich will face a sentence of up to 90 days in jail and a maximum fine of $300.

In New Mexico, the criminal penalty for careless driving is the same regardless of whether it results in injury or death. State Representative Rick Miera is currently supporting a bill that would increase the careless driving penalty to a maximum of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Miera said he believes state law should create stiffer penalties for careless drivers who seriously injure or kill another person.

Whether in your vehicle, riding your bicycle, or merely walking down the street, an unexpected collision with an inattentive driver can occur at any time. The injuries that result from an automobile collision are often disabling. If you were hurt by an inattentive driver, you may be eligible to receive compensation for lost wages, pain, suffering, and other damages. If you lost a loved one in a tragic crash, you may have a New Mexico wrongful death claim against the person who caused the accident. After any car crash, it is a good idea to contact a knowledgeable New Mexico car accident lawyer as soon as you are able.

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