SANTA FE — Albuquerque hip-hop artist Andrew Martinez, 30, who performed as Wake Self, died after a Sunday night car crash in Santa Fe was caused by a driver now charged with aggravated DWI and other counts.
Wake Self was to perform at a pre-release party for latest album “Ready to Live” on Thursday night at Meow Wolf in Santa Fe. In the car that Martinez was driving and seriously injured in the crash was Kevin Allende, 28, of Santa Fe. An artist by that name has painted murals at Santa Fe High School and around the state.
News of Martinez’s death drew a strong reaction from fans and others.
Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller tweeted, “With the passing of Wake Self, ABQ lost a powerful voice. His music was about resilience and respect for young people, elders, and women – and his legacy won’t be forgotten. We’re thinking of his family & friends today, and those he touched with his music.”
Meow Wolf also paid tribute.
“Our hearts pour out to the family and friends of Andrew Martinez (@WakeSelf),” said a Meow Wolf tweet. “… Andrew was a monumental force of positivity in the hip-hop scene and one of Meow Wolf’s most frequent performers. His energy will forever reverberate within the walls of our venue.”
Wake Self’s previous album, 2016’s “Malala” featured a photo of Pakistani activist and Nobel Peace prize winner Malala Yousafzai on the cover.
On Tuesday, Santa Fe Police Department spokesman Greg Gurule confirmed that Martinez had died at University of New Mexico Hospital.
According to a Santa Fe police report, a witness said he saw a black truck traveling west on West Alameda in the eastbound lane at about 60 mph about 10 p.m. Sunday. About 30 second later he “observed the lights to the black truck pop up into the air as if the truck hit something.”
Martinez and Allende were still trapped in a silver sedan when police got to the scene on Alameda near Camino Alire.
The driver of the truck, later identified as 24-year-old Diego Pichardo, was lying in the street. All three men were taken to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center. There, Pichardo told an officer that he was coming from work at the Bull Ring restaurant.
“As I was speaking with Mr. Pichardo I could smell a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from Mr. Pichardo,” the report says. “I also noticed Mr. Pichardo eyes were bloodshot and watery.”
Pichardo said he had nothing to drink that night. When asked why he smelled like alcohol, he replied “because he works in the industry,” the report says. The officer was able to get blood drawn from Pichardo via a search warrant to test his blood alcohol content.
In addition to DWI, Pichardo is charged with two counts of causing great bodily harm by vehicle and driving on a revoked license.
Pichardo has a history of DWI arrests. He was arrested for DWI in Albuquerque in December 2017 after an officer saw him driving 10 mph under the speed limit and crossing the white line. He was arrested for performing poorly on field sobriety tests. The case was dismissed without prejudice in January, court records show.
In June, Pichardo was arrested for DWI near the Plaza Cafe Southside in Santa Fe after a caller said a truck hit a guard rail. Officers found Pichardo asleep in the truck. He had a .18 breath alcohol content, more than twice the presumed level of intoxication. This case is pending. He has violated his conditions of release several times, court records show.
In a recent Instagram post that was making the rounds of social media on Tuesday, Martinez provided something of an autobiography.
“My family lived in government housing,” he wrote. “We had no carpet just a dirt floor, and the water quality was bad. Drinking the water got me really sick as an infant. I had to stay in Intensive care for months without going home to my family. When my mom tells me this story she says they weren’t sure I was going to make it, but when things were looking their worst a miracle happened and one of the doctors found a treatment that saved my life.
“When my mother 1st told me all of this, it made me believe in miracles. Later I learned that we are all miracles. We have this precious opportunity called life! Everyday i wake up and give gratitude for this blessing to be alive. I pray a miracle happens to you and changes the way you think and see the world. You gon make it.”