Jacob Williams, convicted in 2008 of driving drunk when he killed a motorcyclist and left a woman paralyzed, now faces an identical set of charges for allegedly killing another motorcyclist – who happens to be the brother of the judge that sentenced Williams to prison in the earlier case.
Williams, 27, of Bosque in Valencia County, was charged Monday with driving drunk after his pickup veered over a center line, killing Daniel Sanchez, 51, and seriously injuring his 11-year-old daughter, Magen Sanchez.
The head-on collision occurred Saturday on N.M. 109 south of Belen.
Magen, a passenger on her father’s motorcycle, has undergone at least two surgeries for injuries to her leg, and she faces additional surgery, a family member said Monday.
The girl was listed in satisfactory condition Monday at the University of New Mexico Hospital, a hospital spokesman said.
Sanchez’s brother, state District Court Judge William Sanchez of Los Lunas, presided in an April 2008 case in which Williams pleaded guilty to felony charges of vehicular homicide, great bodily harm by vehicle and aggravated driving while intoxicated.
Sanchez sentenced Williams to the maximum six years in prison allowed under the plea agreement.
At Williams’s sentencing hearing, Judge Sanchez said he was dismayed by the number of DWIs in Valencia County and statewide, the Valencia County News-Bulletin reported at the time.
“I have no doubt in my mind that you’re remorseful for your actions,” the judge told Williams, who had apologized to the victims during the sentencing hearing.
“But with all the media, all the attention there is on DWIs, everyone should be on notice,” Judge Sanchez said. “There’s the saying, ‘You drink, you drive, you lose.’ There should be another one, ‘You drink, you drive, you kill someone, you go to prison.’ ”
Daniel Sanchez was the father of three, including Magen and a young boy and girl, said Donny Sanchez, who is the uncle of both Daniel and William Sanchez.
“He was a good person,” the uncle said of Daniel Sanchez. “He loved his kids and his wife. He didn’t depend on anybody. He did everything himself.”
An electrician, Daniel Sanchez had worked for the University of New Mexico for about 10 years and operated a farm south of Belen, Donny Sanchez said.
“He had that big farm and he was always working,” he said. “He always had something going.”
Daniel Sanchez had recently spoken of retiring in a few years, his uncle said.
“He was doing well,” he said. “He was telling me the other day that he thought he could work five more years and retire” from UNM.
Daniel Sanchez also enjoyed riding motorcycles and owned a four-wheeler and a Harley Davidson in addition to the dirt bike he was riding on Saturday, his uncle said.
The new charges against Williams are vehicular homicide, great bodily injury by vehicle and second-offense aggravated driving under the influence, according to a criminal complaint filed Monday in Magistrate Court in Belen.
The two fatal collisions, although eight years apart, had eerily similar circumstances – both killed the motorcycle drivers and seriously injured young female passengers.
Daniel “Danny” Sanchez died instantly about 5:30 p.m. Saturday when Williams’ southbound Dodge pickup allegedly veered across the center line and slammed into the northbound motorcycle, State Police said.
Breath tests found Williams’s blood-alcohol level at 0.16 percent, or twice the legal limit of 0.08, according to the criminal complaint.
The accident that sent Williams to prison occurred on Aug. 27, 2006, when Williams, then 21, failed to stop at a Rio Communities intersection and struck a motorcycle. The collision killed the motorcycle driver, Quin Sanchez, 42, of Belen, who was no relation to Daniel and William Sanchez.
A passenger on the motorcycle, Mary Ann Madrid, then 23, of Belen, was paralyzed as a result of her injuries.
After his sentencing, Williams was incarcerated from 2008 until he was paroled in May 2011, Corrections Department department spokeswoman Alex Tomlin said.
Williams returned to prison in July 2011 on a parole violation and remained incarcerated until he completed his sentence in July 2012.