ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A family member says Kristina Martinez and Robert Gallegos were on a date in Albuquerque when a driver plowed into their Uber, killing them both.
According to police, the driver who hit them near Alameda and Pan American Freeway “showed signs of impairment.” He has not been identified pending a blood test and possible criminal charges.
Bryan Martinez said his 33-year-old sister and her boyfriend of several years made the responsible choice that night to use a ride-sharing service.
“They were doing the right thing and just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time,” he said.
Kristina Martinez, who lived in Santa Fe, leaves behind two daughters, ages 13 and 7. Her brother said she was a cashier at Home Depot with an affinity for pranks, and transformed her mother’s home into a haunted house every Halloween.
“This was the house to come to for Halloween,” her brother said. “She decked it out with crazy, scary decorations.”
As much as she loved Halloween, Bryan Martinez said, she loved her daughters more – and she was a fantastic mother. And when Gallegos came into the picture, he “took on a very positive role” in bringing up the girls. Gallegos, a social worker, had recently purchased a home in Rio Rancho.
Bryan Martinez said his sister’s boyfriend was “just as beautiful and perfect as she was.” Together, they were loving, caring and always smiling, he said.
“Both of them were just the life of the party,” Bryan Martinez said, “always making everybody laugh.”
Police say the Uber vehicle, a Ford Fusion, was driving east on Alameda around 11:30 p.m. Friday when it made a left turn onto the Pan American frontage road. The vehicle was hit by a Kia sedan headed west “at a high rate of speed” on Alameda. The Kia driver was taken to a hospital in stable condition. The Uber driver was also taken to the hospital.
Brian Martinez said friends and family are hosting a fundraiser from 4 to 7 p.m. today at La Fonda in Santa Fe. It is open to the public, and proceeds will go to funeral expenses and to Kristina Martinez’s daughters.