ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Police say wrong-way driver showed physical signs of drinking, blood-test results still out.
Danielle Best, 21, who was driving the wrong way on Interstate 25 this morning, is in critical condition with internal injuries at University of New Mexico Hospital, and the driver of the red Ford Escort sedan that was struck near Gibson at 3:40 this morning has been identified as 50-year-old Michael Hauser, Albuquerque Police Department spokeswoman Trish Hoffman tells ABQjournal.com.
Hauser is in serious but stable condition at UNM Hospital with multiple compound fractures, Hoffman said.
Hoffman said Best showed physical signs of drinking when rescue workers arrived on the scene this morning, but police are waiting on the results of blood tests before deciding whether to file drunken-driving charges.
Best's car had North Carolina license plates, and she is believed to be in the U.S. Air Force, Hoffman said.
Police determined that Best was coming from Los Lunas this morning, but it wasn't clear how long she had been driving northbound in the southbound lanes of I-25, Hoffman said. The wrong-way driver was reported seen at the Rio Bravo and Sunport exits, she said.
10:35am UPDATE: Police said the woman who was driving the wrong way on southbound Interstate 25 this morning smelled of alcohol when rescuers arrived on the scene and was listed in critical condition at University of New Mexico Hospital but was awake and talking, the Albuquerque Tribune is reporting.
Several people called police to report the Ford Ranger pickup going the wrong way before it slammed into a Ford Escort sedan driven by a man in his 60s, but it was unclear how long the wrong-way driver had been going north in the southbound lanes, the Tribune reported.
She could have gotten on the freeway at Rio Bravo or Sunport boulevards, APD spokeswoman Trish Hoffman told the Tribune.
8:05am UPDATE: The southbound lanes of Interstate 25 at Gibson, closed for several hours because of an early-morning wrong-way collision, are back open, 770 KKOB Radio is reporting.
7:10am — Alcohol Suspected in I-25 Crash: Wrong-way collision in southbound lanes near Gibson hospitalizes two.
There's a major traffic backup on southbound Interstate 25 and police are diverting traffic onto the Gibson exit, but the scene of a head-on, wrong-way collision that occurred around 3:40 this morning should be cleared soon, Albuquerque Police Department spokeswoman Trish Hoffman tells ABQjournal.com.
A woman in her early 20s was driving a blue pickup truck northbound in the southbound lanes of I-25, colliding with a small red four-door sedan driven by a man who is around 60, Hoffman said.
Both drivers have been taken to University of New Mexico Hospital, where they are in serious to critical condition, according to Hoffman.
Alcohol is possibly a factor, and the APD DWI unit is on the scene investigating, Hoffman said.
6:45am UPDATE: An Albuquerque Police Department DWI unit is on the scene of a head-on crash that occurred shortly before 4 this morning in the southbound lanes of Interstate 25 at Gibson, KOB-TV is reporting.
No further details are available.
I-25 Southbound at Gibson Closed: Wrong-way crash has shut down the interstate at this hour.
A wrong-way crash on Interstate 25 near the Gibson exit has shut down the southbound lanes for now, according to KOAT-TV .
Action 7 News reporter A.J. Smith tells us that a blue truck was driving the wrong way and collided with a red sedan, and while we don't know the condition of the drivers yet, police are calling it a serious crash. It took rescue crews 20 minutes to get the sedan's driver extricated from the vehicle, KOAT reported.
Traffic on southbound I-25 is already backed up heading into Gibson, and the wreckers haven't even arrived on the scene. Crash cleanup is expected to take some time, so drivers are urged to find an alternate route.
Both drivers were severely injured in the crash and have been taken to University of New Mexico Hospital, where their conditions are unknown at the present time, according to KOB-TV.