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Driver admits having three beers before fatal Santa Fe crash

SANTA FE — A Santa Fe man has been charged with vehicular homicide and two counts of great bodily harm by vehicle following a Sunday night accident in which a passenger in the car he was driving was killed.

Dominic Friedlein, 24, who is suspected of being drunk at the time of the accident, told police he thought he had enough time to make a left turn from north-bound St. Francis onto San Mateo Road in front of an oncoming car shortly before 8 p.m. Sunday, according to police reports.

But the two vehicles collided, causing the 1999 Toyota 4-Runner with Oregon license plates that Friedlein was driving to strike another car waiting at the intersection, roll over onto its top and catch fire after coming to rest against a utility pole at the southwest corner of the intersection.

Officers arriving at the scene said it was apparent a man who was sitting in the front passenger seat, 29-year-old Stefan Siegmann, was already dead. Neither Friedlein nor another passenger in the car, Hanna Young, were seriously injured.

However, two people in a 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt, the car Friedlein tried to make a left-hand turn in front of, were taken to a Santa Fe hospital with injuries. The driver, Pamela Reyes, broke both her wrists and three ribs, and her 7-year-old son suffered a fractured eye socket and internal bleeding of his nose.

According to Santa Fe police reports, Friedlein failed field sobriety tests and he consented to two blood draws to test the amount of alcohol in his system. One officer’s report says that while at Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center where his blood was drawn, Friedlein said he had three beers on an empty stomach prior to the accident and “How do you not blame yourself for something like this, I killed someone today.”

The accident took place about one block from Friedlein’s apartment. According to online jail records he was being held at the Santa Fe County jail without bond as of Monday evening.

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