SF man sued over fatal crash - Albuquerque Journal

SF man sued over fatal crash

SANTA FE – A young Santa Fe man who is accused of killing a Colorado woman and seriously injuring two others in a drunk driving crash in February is being sued for wrongful death and other damages by the crash survivors and the deceased woman’s husband.

Luke Griffin, 18, faces one count of homicide by vehicle, two counts of great bodily harm by vehicle and other DWI-related charges. State Police say Griffin was driving southbound on Interstate 25 near Algodones around 11 p.m. Feb. 24 and rear-ended a Nissan Versa driven by 49-year-old Corrina Vaden of Aurora, Colo. Vaden was pronounced dead at the scene, while her passengers, Kym Butcher and Elizabeth Rotter, were taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Butcher, Rotter, Vaden’s husband and personal representative Scott Atkinson of Bernalillo County filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Santa Fe District Court this week against Griffin and three “John Does” who allegedly provided Griffin, who is underage, with alcohol. The complaint seeks damages for medical and funeral expenses, and other costs.

A witness told police that Griffin’s Audi S4 passed him on the right shoulder at about 100 mph before the crash. Another witness saw Griffin throw what appeared to be a liquor bottle out of his car.

An officer tried to conduct field sobriety tests on Griffin, but ended them “based on Luke’s state of intoxication and his safety,” a criminal complaint filed in Bernalillo Magistrate Court said. Breath tests indicated that Griffin’s blood-alcohol level was .22, nearly three times the legal driving limit of .08. Griffin told police that he drank three beers about seven hours earlier.

Griffin is currently out of jail on electronic monitoring and is required to have an ignition interlock installed in his car, according to court records.

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