ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A pedestrian standing on a dark stretch of Paseo del Norte at about 3:30 this morning died after being struck by an on-duty Albuquerque police officer and at least three other motorists.
The identity of the victim is unknown at this time, the Albuquerque Police Department said. The body is being sent to the Office of the Medical Investigator to determine whether he was intoxicated. APD has identified the officer as Zack Catrell.
The pedestrian was apparently standing in the eastbound lanes of Paseo near Coors, Deputy Chief Beth Paiz told reporters during a media briefing this morning. Initial reports, she said, are that the officer saw the pedestrian and swerved to try to avoid hitting the person. But the officer clipped the pedestrian, and then at least three other vehicles struck the pedestrian.
Paiz said the area where the incident occurred is “extremely dark,” and by the time the officer and other motorists realized someone was standing on the roadway, they were not able to avoid hitting the pedestrian.
Paseo was closed for about five hours following the incident.
The officer who struck the pedestrian, whose name has not been released, is on leave. Per Albuquerque Police Department policy, the officer is required to undergo a drug test.
The incident is being investigated by a team that includes people from various jurisdictions.
Catrell is assigned to the DWI unit, an agency spokeswoman said.