A 21-year-old Santa Fe man is dead following a brief police chase in April. Juan Pablo Martinez was killed when he allegedly fled from a police officer who attempted to pull him over for speeding and crashed into a wall on Siringo Road near Santa Fe High School. Martinez was reportedly not wearing a seat belt and was thrown from his Dodge Neon upon impact. According to police, the force of the impact ripped the Neon in two. Martinez died at the scene of the accident. A police cruiser driven by Santa Fe Police Officer Ryan Alira Maez was not damaged or involved in the crash.
At the time of the accident, Martinez was already scheduled for a pre-trial hearing in Santa Fe County Magistrate Court on evading the police and reckless driving charges stemming from a February 3, 2012 incident. Although Martinez pleaded not guilty to the February charges, the 21-year-old man pleaded no contest to charges of speeding 21 to 25 miles per hour over the posted limit in Bernalillo County Magistrate Court in January. Martinez was also cited at the time for failing to provide officers with proof of automobile insurance. The insurance charge was later dismissed.
New Mexico State Police are currently investigating the incident because a Santa Fe police officer was pursing Martinez at the time of the fatal accident. According to Lt. Robert McDonald, a police accident investigator, there was no evidence Martinez was under the influence of alcohol of drugs at the time of the crash. Still, toxicology tests will be conducted. Although Officer Maez stated he only pursued Martinez for a few blocks, authorities have not yet determined the speed at which the deceased driver was traveling when the deadly accident occurred.
New Mexico residents regularly spend long hours in their cars every day. Unfortunately, this means accidents are bound to occur. Car accidents may be caused by a variety of factors including reckless, drunk, or inattentive drivers, motor vehicle defects, and hazardous road conditions. Drivers who are speeding, preoccupied by cell phones, and sending text messages can also be a hazard to everyone on the road. Disabling injuries and death often result from drivers who engage in unsafe behavior behind the wheel.
Although still tragic, it is fortunate that the driver in this instance did not injure anyone else. If you were hurt by a reckless, negligent, or careless driver, you may be eligible to receive financial compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, any resulting disability, pain, suffering, and a variety of other damages. A knowledgeable New Mexico car accident attorney can explain your rights and help you file your case.
If you or a loved one was injured in an automobile accident, call the Fine Law Firm at (505) 889-3463, or contact the Fine Law Firm through our website. Our skilled Rio Rancho personal injury lawyers have more than 100 years of combined experience helping car accident victims throughout New Mexico achieve fair compensation for their injuries.
Cement Truck Driver in Fatal Clovis Accident Reportedly Tried to Avoid Collision, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, June 8, 2012
New Mexico Has the Highest Rate of Injury Deaths in the Nation, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, May 24, 2012
SFPD pursuit leads to fatal crash early Sunday, by Dennis Carroll, The New Mexican