A Valencia County man who turned himself in to the Valencia County Sheriff’s Office on Saturday has been charged in connection to the hit-and-run injury of a 12-year-old girl in Meadow Lake.
Miguel Ortiz, 31, of El Cerro Mission, is in custody and charged with leaving the scene of an accident with great bodily harm, a fourth-degree felony.
Shortly before 7 a.m. Sept. 16, a Los Lunas Middle School student was struck by a silver Dodge Durango while she waited for her bus on the northeast corner of High Mesa Road and Amy Road. She was taken to the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque for treatment of her injuries.
While still in the hospital, the girl told deputies she was at the bus stop petting her dog, which had followed her from home, when she looked west and saw a gray truck or SUV coming toward her.
“(The girl) tried running across the road south but was still struck,” the criminal complaint says. “(She) informed me she was struck on the right hip and then does not remember much.”
The bus driver told deputies that when she was at the previous bus stop at High Mesa Road and Journey Road, the Durango “blew through her stop sign hauling butt.” She estimated the vehicle was going about 100 mph.
On the same day as the hit-and-run, a woman living in the 300 block of El Cerro Mission reported her silver 2004 Dodge Durango stolen. She told VCSO detectives she noticed the SUV was missing from her front yard at 12:30 p.m. that day. The description she provided was very close to that of the vehicle that hit the student.
Deputies asked whether anyone else had permission to use the vehicle, and she told them no but that her boyfriend, Ortiz, might have a key for the vehicle.
According to the criminal complaint, detectives received an anonymous tip Sept. 17 that Ortiz was driving the Durango when the girl was hit.
According to the complaint, after additional interviews, she eventually told deputies Ortiz was moving things from their shed to another home using the Durango the morning the girl was hit. She woke up at 6 a.m. and Ortiz hadn’t come back; she tried calling him several times and he didn’t answer. He called her at about 11 a.m., saying he had “run over a little girl. … Miguel explained to her that he fell asleep at the wheel and when he woke up he had ran over the girl. … When asked why he wouldn’t stop, Miguel told her that he was scared.”
The woman said Ortiz told her to report the vehicle stolen.
VCSO Lt. Joseph Rowland said the woman isn’t facing charges at this time.
At the time of the hit-and-run, Ortiz was on probation for possession of heroin with intent to distribute, according to the complaint.