Pedestrian killed in crash; driver arrested - Albuquerque Journal

Pedestrian killed in crash; driver arrested

Police investigate an early morning fatal car accident at Central and Rio Grande NW. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis/Albuquerque Journal)

Copyright © 2022 Albuquerque Journal

A man walking on a sidewalk near Old Town was hit and killed by a suspected drunken driver on Sunday.

Jonathan Jessi Sandoval

Police responded to the scene at Central and Rio Grande NW at around 5 a.m., after they say the man was struck by a black Dodge Challenger while he was walking eastbound on the north side of Central near a bus stop.

Albuquerque police have not identified the pedestrian, who suffered significant injuries and was declared deceased at the scene.

The Challenger was driving west on Central and lost control while traveling at “a high rate of speed,” said Rebecca Atkins, an Albuquerque Police Department spokeswoman.

The vehicle struck the curb, continued on the sidewalk, and struck the man before crashing into a power line pole and coming to rest in the Walgreens parking lot, Atkins said.

“The driver of the black Dodge Challenger, who was later identified as Jonathan Jessi Sandoval, 22, removed the license plate off of the vehicle and fled the scene of the crash,” Atkins said.

Sandoval later returned to the scene with his parents and agreed to perform sobriety tests, according to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court. Police said he lost his balance during a “walk and turn test” and also showed signs of impairment during other tests.

The complaint said Sandoval also took a preliminary breath test that showed he had alcohol in his system. The complaint does not specify Sandoval’s blood alcohol concentration.

It wasn’t clear if Sandoval had hired an attorney.

He was arrested on suspicion of vehicular homicide and tampering with evidence, Atkins said. Police obtained a warrant to test his blood for alcohol and the incident is still under investigation.

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