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Doctor Charged In Crash Death Had 0.08% BAC

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FOR THE RECORD: This story incorrectly stated that the 0.08 percent blood alcohol content found in a blood sample from a physician charged with vehicular homicide in a fatal crash in Santa Fe was the minimum level for being considered drunk behind the wheel in New Mexico. A 0.08 percent BAC is the presumed level of intoxication in New Mexico but is not a minimum level that is mandatory for a DWI charge.

The Santa Fe surgeon charged with vehicular homicide in a crash late last month in which a 4-year-old died had a blood-alcohol content of 0.08 percent — the minimum level for being considered intoxicated while driving, under New Mexico law.

Santa Fe police received the results of a BAC test on a blood sample taken from physician Deborah Aaron, 56, late last week, according to Capt. Aric Wheeler.

In the Dec. 30 crash, Aaron’s Land Rover T-boned a minivan driven by Karla Vasquez Reyes, killing Vasquez Reyes’ daughter, Yuliana Vasquez Reyes.

The blood tests showed that Karla Vasquez Reyes had no alcohol in her system, Wheeler said Monday.

For now, the vehicular homicide charge against Aaron remains in place. She told police she had two glasses of wine the night of the crash, which took place between 10:30-11 p.m. at St. Francis Drive and Siringo Road.

But police so far have not found or disclosed any evidence showing Aaron actually caused the crash — a problem should the district attorney’s office decide to proceed with prosecution of the vehicular homicide charge against Aaron.

Aaron has pleaded not guilty. Police have said she showed signs of intoxication at the crash scene.

Aaron has told police she believed the van she hit ran a red light in front of her and that she had no chance to stop before impact. Aaron was traveling south on St. Francis, and Karla Vasquez Reyes was driving east on Siringo.

Also, a police statement filed in state District Court recently states that at least one witness said Vasquez Reyes’ minivan ran a red light. The van “came off of Siringo Road eastbound and ran the red light,” the witness said.

The police search warrant affidavit also said the same witness, who was northbound on St. Francis Drive about 200 feet from the intersection, told officers the light was green for both directions on St. Francis.

Vasquez Reyes told police she was headed to pick up her husband from work and could not say “what color the light was,” the affidavit states.
— This article appeared on page C1 of the Albuquerque Journal

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