Man charged with vehicular homicide in fatal collision - Albuquerque Journal

Man charged with vehicular homicide in fatal collision

Rachel Davis , left and her daughter Kahlo place a cross at the scene of the fatal crash at Montgomery and Morris NE involving a driver suspected of DWI. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Albuquerque Journal)

Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal

Casino Salazar, 19 (Courtesy Chavez County Detention Center via KOAT-TV)

A 19-year-old Roswell man has been charged with vehicular homicide following a Saturday night crash in the Northeast Heights that left one dead and several others critically injured.

Gilbert Gallegos, a spokesman for the Albuquerque Police Department, said Casino Salazar was speeding westbound on Montgomery at around 7 p.m. when his Chevrolet SUV struck a silver GMC that was turning north onto Morris. Kevin Barton, driver of the GMC, died in the crash, according to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court.

According to the complaint, a witness made eye contact with Salazar at a red light at Montgomery and Juan Tabo. When the light turned green, the witness told police, Salazar took off at a high speed and was swerving. The witness said Salazar ran a red light and caused the crash, according to the complaint.

“Witnesses identified Salazar as the driver and said he appeared to be intoxicated,” Gallegos said.

He added that Salazar had bloodshot, watery eyes and slurred his speech when he spoke to officers at the hospital. Officers reported that his breath smelled of alcohol, and he refused a field sobriety test.

“Salazar denied driving the vehicle, drinking alcohol or consuming drugs,” Gallegos said.

Police obtained a warrant to test Salazar’s blood, according to the complaint.

Gallegos noted that Salazar had been arrested four days earlier in Roswell on DWI and other charges after a single-car crash in which he ran from the scene but was captured after a pursuit. He said Salazar was released from jail in that case on several conditions, including that he not possess firearms, that he not possess or consume alcohol or illegal drugs, not leave Chaves County and not drive while the case was pending.

After Saturday night’s crash, officers found several containers of liquor, several firearms and cannabis in the SUV Salazar was driving. He and the four passengers in the SUV were taken to a hospital. Salazar was later arrested and booked into the Metropolitan Detention center on charges of homicide by vehicle-DWI, having an open container and negligent use of a firearm.

Gallegos didn’t provide the conditions of the passengers in his news release. Albuquerque Fire Rescue reported Saturday night that one person was killed and five were critically injured in the crash.

Journal staff writer Ryan Boetel contributed to this report.

 


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