Police have arrested a woman suspected of driving drunk, swerving into oncoming traffic and crashing into an 18-year-old, killing her, in late June.
Bernadette Etsitty, 40, was booked into the Metropolitan Detention Center Friday morning. She is charged with homicide by vehicle. According to online court records, Etsitty has been charged with driving under the influence three other times dating back to 2006. The most recent case, in 2018, was dismissed when an officer didn’t show up to court hearings.
According to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court, on June 23, around 8:15 p.m. officers were called to Candelaria and Richmond NE for a head-on two-vehicle crash. When they arrived they found 18-year-old Roxana Saenz dead.
The other driver, Etsitty, was taken into custody after officers said she showed signs of being “grossly intoxicated” and told them she drank a 12-pack of beer before driving. Surveillance footage showed Etsitty driving a Chevrolet Silverado pickup east on Candelaria and then swerving into the “center yellow painted median” and colliding with Saenz’s Honda Civic, according to the complaint.
Etsitty’s blood alcohol analysis was about twice the presumed level of intoxication and officers said they found two empty 23.5-ounce Smirnoff Ice Smash cans and an empty 24-ounce Steel Reserve can in her truck. An arrest warrant was issued July 2.
Saenz had just graduated from Del Norte High School and was planning on attending the University of New Mexico and becoming a veterinarian, according to a GoFundMe page raising money for her memorial.
“At age 17, Roxana was part of the staff at Blue Cross Animal Clinic,” the page reads. “This job allowed her to pay her own rent, pay her own bills and was able to purchase a 1995 Honda Civic.”