A Colorado couple is pushing for stricter driving while intoxicated laws in the State of New Mexico after losing their unborn child in a crash. In June, Aileen Smith was seven months pregnant and traveling as a passenger on Interstate 25 through northern New Mexico with her husband, Zach. The couple was headed to a baby shower being held in their honor in San Diego. While driving in San Miguel County, a Pontiac driven by 43-year-old Ramon Hernandez allegedly attempted to merge onto the freeway and crossed in front of the Smiths’ vehicle. Zach Smith was unable to stop the couple's Suzuki Grand Vitara and struck the side of the Pontiac. During the crash, Aileen Smith suffered a broken sternum and abdominal contusions. She was taken to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center in Santa Fe where physicians performed an emergency Caesarian section in an unsuccessful attempt to save the Smiths’ unborn child. The baby reportedly died as a result of massive head trauma sustained in the accident.
Following the crash, Hernandez was arrested on suspicion of felony driving while intoxicated and charged with injuring a pregnant woman. The second charge was later amended to vehicular homicide. According to New Mexico motor vehicle records, Hernandez, a Las Vegas, New Mexico resident, was previously convicted on four separate occasions for driving while intoxicated. Additionally, his driver’s license was revoked at the time of the collision with the Smiths. Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to both charges and remains in custody on a $25,000 bond.
Unfortunately, alcohol-related crashes are common in New Mexico. Every person traveling on the roadways in our state is placed at risk of harm when a drunk or impaired driver makes the choice to get behind the wheel. When someone is accused of driving while intoxicated, criminal charges may be filed. The victim of an injury that was caused by an allegedly impaired driver may also choose to file a claim to recover financial compensation for pain and suffering, medical expenses, and other damages. Additionally, where a drunk driver’s liability insurance limits are insufficient to cover all of a victim’s damages, an injured person may also opt to file a lawsuit against the bar or restaurant that served alcohol to the driver prior to the crash. A capable drunk driving attorney can fully explain how to file a dram shop case.
Contact the Fine Law Firm if you or someone you love was injured by a drunk or impaired driver in New Mexico. Our hardworking Santa Fe drunk driving lawyers assist people who were hurt in a crash caused by an intoxicated or otherwise impaired driver. At the Fine Law Firm, we represent clients who were the victim of an injury or tragically lost a loved one in a car accident throughout the State of New Mexico. Our dedicated attorneys have more than 100 years of combined experience helping New Mexico clients achieve fair compensation following an unexpected injury. To speak with a capable car accident lawyer today, call the Fine Law Firm at (505) 889-3463 or contact us through our website.
Fatal Semi Truck Accident on Highway 70, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, August 10, 2012
Sandoval County Fire Chief Killed in Accident on I-25 Near Bernalillo, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, July 31, 2012
Alleged DWI Claims Tiny Life, by T.S. Last, Albuquerque Journal
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