Copyright © 2023 Albuquerque Journal
A 50-year-old woman who was fixing a flat tire off Interstate 40 near Coors – and a good Samaritan who had stopped to help her – were struck by a suspected drunken driver early Saturday morning.
The woman – who was identified by New Mexico State Police as Wendy Hunn of Albuquerque – was taken to the hospital, where she died. The man who was helping her was taken to the hospital with bleeding in his brain and is in critical, but stable, condition, according to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court.
Raymundo Jaquez-Barallasco, 31, was arrested at the scene and booked into the Metropolitan Detention Center on charges of vehicular homicide (DWI) and great bodily harm by vehicle. Prosecutors have asked for him to be held pending trial. It’s unclear who his attorney will be.
State Police said its investigators have determined that Hunn had parked her 2006 Honda Sedan on the shoulder to fix a flat tire and another driver had stopped to help her.
The two were outside the car – which had its emergency lights flashing – when a driver in a GMC pickup truck crashed into the back of the assisting driver’s Hyundai SUV, causing it to crash into the Honda, state police said.
Hunn and the man who was helping her were critically injured in the crash.
There were two passengers in Hunn’s car – one who was taken to the hospital to be treated for unknown injuries and the other who was not injured, State Police said.
Jaquez-Barallasco was not injured.
“Mr. Jaquez had noticeable red, bloodshot and watery eyes, a strong odor of alcohol coming from his breath and he was crying,” an Albuquerque Police Department officer wrote in the complaint. “He made multiple statements about his vehicle being severely damaged and how upset he was about that fact.”
The officer said when he asked Jaquez-Barallasco how much he had to drink before driving, he said “just like three beers” and was unable to say when he had his last drink.
The officer said Jaquez-Barallasco performed poorly on standardized field sobriety tests.