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Police ID pedestrian killed when truck hit light pole

Albuquerque Police Department officers investigate a crash involving two vehicles and a pedestrian on Mountain near Third NW on June 14. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Albuquerque Journal)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Albuquerque police have identified the man killed in a bizarre crash on Mountain and Third NW last week as Chris Gallegos, a homeless man who frequented the area.

Police say a pickup truck and a SUV collided in the intersection, sending the truck spinning into the sidewalk and crushing Gallegos against a light pole. He died at the scene.

No one has been charged in the crash, and a police spokesman said Thursday it is still under investigation.

Danny Whatley, executive director of the Rock at Noonday center for the homeless, said he knew Gallegos well. He guessed he was in his mid-30s.

Whatley said Gallegos grew up in Texas and had been coming to the center for at least three years and had an eccentric personality.

“A neat young man, he was never a problem,” Whatley said. “We could line up a group of folks and you would never pick Chris out as a homeless guy. He would come in wearing a coat and tie sometimes. He always dressed nice, always carried himself well.”

In the wake of the June 14 crash, Whatley said he had many conversations with other advocates and homeless people who knew and loved Gallegos.

He said he’d heard Gallegos was walking to meet a woman who recently had gotten a place to live when he was hit by the truck.

“He was exceptional, he really was,” Whatley said. “I’ve been doing this for 11 years and he was one of those guys that will always be there for me as far as memories. He was an exceptional young man.”

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