SANTA FE, N.M. — Police on Thursday released the name of the driver of an SUV involved in a crash that killed a man riding a motorcycle on St. Michael’s Drive the night before, but officers hadn’t confirmed whether alcohol was a factor.
The driver of the white Pontiac Torrent was Margaret Garcia, 52, police Capt. Aric Wheeler said.
Police were still trying to reach the next of kin of the 40-year-old motorcyclist who was killed and did not release his name Thursday.
Garcia has not been charged with any violations, Wheeler said Thursday, although he said Wednesday night that the biker had the right of way when the wreck took place.
Wheeler also said Wednesday night that officers suspected the driver of the Pontiac had been drinking. He wouldn’t elaborate on that Thursday.
“We’re kind of leaving that alone for right now,” he said. A blood test will determine Garcia’s blood-alcohol content from Wednesday night, but the results probably won’t be available for at least a week, Wheeler said.
The motorcycle was carrying a 12-pack of beer. An autopsy and toxicological tests will determine if the man on the bike had been drinking.
The accident occurred about 7 p.m. Wednesday at St. Mike’s and Botulph Road. The biker was traveling east on St. Michael’s as the westbound Pontiac was making a lefthand turn onto Botulph, turning into the path of the motorcycle, police say.
The biker braked but couldn’t avoid impact. The rider then slid under the SUV.