• Accident Causes

    Drinking and Driving Has Caused 49 Fatalities in 2020

    Statewide (August 6, 2020) – Of the nearly 200 traffic accident fatalities in New Mexico this year, just under 25% involved a driver who was under the influence of alcohol.

    Data obtained from the University of New Mexico (UNM) confirmed that at least 49 alcohol-related traffic deaths occurred between January and June 2020. 

    Although drunk driving deaths are down compared to this time last year, that number still represents an average of around two drunk driving fatalities per week every week during the first half of the year. 

    Injured by a drunk driver? You could be entitled to compensation for your injuries, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Contact an Albuquerque personal injury lawyer today. Source: UNM

    Red Light Runner Causes Serious Accident

    Rio Rancho (July 2, 2020) – Two teenage girls are lucky to be alive following a horrific car crash on Tramway Boulevard last month.

    Sixteen-year-old Amaya Payne and Georgia Salata both suffered serious injuries when they were T-boned by a hit-and-run driver who ran a red light on June 18.

    Salata, who had just received the car the day before as a birthday present, suffered four neck fractures, four upper body fractures, and dozens of stitches and staples.

    Her passenger Amaya Payne suffered a broken left foot and three fractures in her right femur, requiring surgery and a blood transfusion.

    Both teens are now recovering at home.The two young men in the vehicle that hit the girls have not yet been apprehended. Source: Rio Rancho Observer

    Speeding to Blame for Multiple Recent Fatalities

    New Mexico (June 18, 2020) – Two separate fatal car accidents in the past few weeks have been caused by excessive speeding, according to New Mexico law enforcement.

    Back on June 1, a 12-year-old girl died and her 16-year-old sister was injured when a 19-year-old man who was driving over 100 miles per hour slammed into them at a Rio Rancho intersection.

    An arrest warrant has been issued for the driver of that vehicle, Estevan Miguel Chavez.

    In another car accident in Albuquerque last Saturday, a possible street racing incident led to the death of one passenger and the hospitalization of another.

    The identities of those involved have not yet been released, although witnesses say they saw both cars traveling at a high rate of speed shortly before the crash. Sources: Rio Rancho Observer | U.S. News

    New ART Safety Measures to Decrease Bus Accidents

    Albuquerque (May 28, 2020) – New safety measures are being enacted in Albuquerque to reduce the number of ART bus crashes. The Albuquerque Rapid Transit bus line, which made its debut last November, has been out of commission since March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The city’s new safety initiative involves painting ART’s designated bus-only lanes red. People commonly jaywalk in the bus lane without realizing that ART buses travel in both directions, leading to an increase in Albuquerque pedestrian accidents.

    In addition, the city is also installing concrete barriers called pinned curbs along ART bus lanes to prevent motorists from making illegal U-turns into bus-only lanes. City transportation officials hope these additions will help commuters adjust to the new system reopening in June and prevent any further bus accidents. Source: Albuquerque Journal

    Alcohol Caused Nearly 40% of Fatal Crashes Last Year

    Statewide (May 14, 2020) – There were 164 alcohol-involved traffic fatalities in New Mexico last year, representing 38.9% of all fatal crashes in 2019. Thousands more were injured in drunk driving accidents throughout the state.

    In contrast, there have been 26 alcohol-related traffic fatalities so far in 2020—a decrease of almost 45% from this time last year.

    Though some of this decrease could be related to COVID-19 closures, data prior to the statewide shutdown indicates there have been fewer alcohol-related New Mexico auto accidents as far back as January when compared to the same time frame in 2019 and 2018.

    As stay-at-home orders relax and restaurants slowly begin to reopen, Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys encourages Albuquerque drivers to stay safe and always drive sober. Source: UNM

    Pedestrian, Bicyclist Killed in Recent Hit-and-Runs

    Albuquerque (April 23, 2020) – Two drivers are behind bars after two separate but deadly hit-and-run accidents in Albuquerque earlier this month. 

    On April 10, 32-year-old Heather Wood struck and killed a 28-year-old bicyclist around 4:00 a.m. Debris from her damaged vehicle was traced back to the woman’s home after an anonymous tip. Wood admitted to drinking earlier in the evening, but claimed she got out of her vehicle and didn’t see the victim.

    Five days later, 41-year-old Ramona Ortiz struck and killed a pedestrian while racing her boyfriend, who was driving in another vehicle. She sped away from the scene before being apprehended. Ortiz reportedly had a history of speeding and reckless driving. Source: Las Cruces Today | Albuquerque Journal

    Road Construction to Increase During Pandemic

    Albuquerque (April 3, 2020) – City officials have announced that construction workers will be taking advantage of lighter traffic during the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic in order to get a head start on numerous road work and construction projects throughout Albuquerque.

    About $70 million worth of projects will be advanced, including road repairs, a new overpass, improved street lighting, ADA upgraded crosswalks, and pinned medians along the new ART bus routes.

    In addition to road construction, many public construction projects will also be underway earlier than expected, including a new library and community center.

    Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys encourages New Mexico drivers to be aware of increased construction in Albuquerque during this time and to follow all traffic safety laws. Source: KRQE

    New Mexico Ranks High for Fatal Hit and Run Crashes

    Statewide (March 6, 2020) – A new study by the American Automobile Association (AAA) confirmed that New Mexico—along with Florida and Louisiana—ranks highest in the number of fatal hit-and-run accidents per capita.

    Researchers found that almost 65% of these deadly accidents involved a bicyclist or pedestrianIn Albuquerque alone, there have been more than 1,800 reported hit and run accidents in the past two years.

    AAA New Mexico representative Daniel Armbruster attributed the high numbers to driver panic, fear of prosecution, impairment, or simply feeling as though the accident was not their fault. Source: KRQE

    What’s Causing So Many ART Bus Accidents?

    Albuquerque (February 12, 2020) – It’s been less than three months since Albuquerque debuted the long-awaited Albuquerque Rapid Transit (ART) buses, and already there have been at least 13 reported accidents involving the new buses. 

    The most recent accidents left one pedestrian dead and another injured after they were hit by one of the buses in separate incidents on the same day.

    Motorists haven’t fared much better. A police cruiser was sideswiped back in December and multiple motorists have accidentally turned into the path of one of the buses.

    Police believe the new bus-only lanes have been confusing to drivers and pedestrians alike, and have played a role in many of the crashes.

    Injured by an ART bus? Contact Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys today. Source: KOB4

    Self-driving Cars to Hit New Mexico Roads

    Statewide (January 23, 2020): The self-driving car company Waymo announced recently that long-haul trucks and minivans will soon be self-driving on New Mexico roads. Commuters can expect to see such vehicles beginning this week. Waymo noted that its vehicles are entirely safe, and that before it implements new vehicles in a new environment, it does extensive testing and mapping. Still, Waymo vehicles have been in accidents before.

    Regardless, stay safe out there on New Mexico roads. If you suffer from an injury that wasn’t your fault, contact Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys for a free consultation. Source: KRQE

    Drunk Driving and Speed Chasing in New Mexico

    Albuquerque, NM (January 7, 2019): New updates are in on an alleged drunk driver who led a police officer on a speed chase. The accused drunk driver failed to maintain position in his lane when a police officer attempted to pull him over. Instead, the accused sped up, reaching speeds as high as 117 miles per hour. The pursuit went on until the accused pulled over and hit a cattle guard before fleeing on foot. That’s when the officer caught him and the accused eventually surrendered. As it turns out, the driver already had four DWI convictions, and a fifth one will mean a mandatory sentence of one to two years in jail.

    Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys encourage you to stay safe while on the road. Maintain sobriety, and arrange safe transportation if you are too impaired to drive yourself. If you suffer a personal injury, contact us for a free consultation. Source: KRQE

    Illegal Turns at Intersections Cause Concern

    Albuquerque, NM (December 23, 2019): At one particular Albuquerque intersection (Coors and Paseo), drivers regularly make illegal right turns as a shortcut maneuver. This is even in spite of the fact that there are signs prohibiting such action and the fact that such an action is dangerous. Pedestrians nearly get hit, as many drivers don’t slow down at crosswalks, and traffic is perilous around rush hour times. The city plans on making lane expansions to alleviate the burden of traffic, but an estimated date of completion has not yet been released.

    If you or someone you know suffer a vehicle personal injury, contact Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys for a free consultation. We will help work with you on your personal injury case. Source: KRQE News

  • Accident Statistics

    Alcohol-Involved Fatal Crashes Decline in 2020

    Statewide (July 23, 2020) – Alcohol-involved fatal car accidents appear to be on the decline in 2020 according to the most recent data from the University of New Mexico’s Monthly Fatality Report.

    43 people died between January and June 2020 in alcohol-involved accidents, compared to 77 this time last year, a decrease of more than 44%.

    Notably, overall car accident fatalities in 2020 are similar to the number of fatalities by this time last year, with 192 and 198 deaths respectively.

    Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys is happy to report this decline in drunk driving deaths and reminds Albuquerque drivers to always drive safe and sober. Source: UNM

    New Mexico Deadly Traffic Accidents Surge in June

    Statewide (July 10, 2020) – Fatal traffic accidents nearly doubled between May and June, according to the most recent data compiled by the University of New Mexico (UNM). 

    In May, 24 people died throughout the state in traffic accidents. In June, there were at least 45 traffic deaths, making June the deadliest month for accidents so far this year. The last time New Mexico reported such a high number of accident deaths was July 2019.

    27 deaths resulted from car accidents, with an additional 14 motorcyclists and pedestrians killed. Two people died in semi-truck accidents, one in an ATV accident, and another in a bicycle accident, according to the report. Source: UNM

    May 2020 Traffic Fatalities

    Statewide (June 11, 2020) – 22 people died in traffic accidents across New Mexico in May, according to preliminary data retrieved from the University of New Mexico (UNM).

    This represents the lowest number of monthly fatalities to date in 2020 and the fewest traffic accident deaths recorded in one month since November 2017.

    Overall, 145 people have died in traffic crashes this year, including 88 in truck, van, SUV, and car accidents, 40 in pedestrian accidents, 13 in motorcycle accidents, 2 in bicycle accidents, and 1 in a semi-truck accident.

    Bernalillo County, which includes the city of Albuquerque, continues to lead the state with the most fatalities, with 46 deadly accidents so far this year. Source: UNM

    April 2020 Traffic Fatalities

    Statewide (May 7, 2020) – 24 people died in traffic accidents across New Mexico during the month of April, according to preliminary data compiled by the University of New Mexico (UNM). This represents the lowest number of monthly fatalities to date in 2020. 

    Overall, 124 people have died in traffic crashes this year, including 75 in truck, van, SUV, and car accidents, 1 in a semi-truck accident, 1 in an ATV accident, 38 in pedestrian accidents, 7 in motorcycle accidents, and 2 in bicycle accidents.

    Bernalillo County, which includes the city of Albuquerque, continues to lead the state with the most fatalities, with 37 deadly accidents so far this year. Source: UNM

    March 2020 Traffic Fatalities

    Statewide (April 16, 2020) – 32 people were killed in traffic accidents throughout New Mexico last month, according to data compiled by the University of New Mexico. This represents a nearly 22% decrease in statewide fatalities compared to March of 2019. 

    Of these 32 deaths, 13 were pedestrians—the highest number of pedestrian accident deaths in one month since January 2019. Of the remaining fatalities, 47.3% were in car accidents, 31.5% were in pickup truck accidents, and 21% were in vans or SUV accidents. 

    Bernalillo County has had the highest number of traffic fatalities to date, with 25 deaths so far this year, followed by Santa Fe County with 12 deaths. Source: UNM

    Traffic Fatalities Decrease in February

    Statewide (March 26, 2020) – The University of New Mexico (UNM) reported a 31.7% decrease in traffic fatalities from January to February 2020. It was a rough start across the state, with 41 people killed in traffic accidents in January. Pedestrians alone made up nearly 25% of January’s reported deaths.

    28 traffic fatalities occurred in New Mexico in February, according to the most up-to-date data. That number is on par with last February, and also represents the lowest number of traffic accident deaths in one month during all of 2019. 

    An average of nearly 35 people died each month in traffic accidents last year. Although traffic has been reduced this month due to the COVID-19 pandemic, drivers should remain proactive in order to avoid New Mexico car accidents. Source: UNM

    January 2020 Traffic Fatalities

    Statewide (February 28, 2020) – According to data provided by the New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT), there were 41 traffic fatalities throughout the state last month. This represents an 28.1% increase from January 2019, when 32 people were killed on New Mexico roads.

    These deaths were mostly passenger vehicle occupants, but also included nine pedestrians and four bicyclists. There were no motorcycle accidents resulting in fatalities recorded for the month of January.

    Although the number of January traffic fatalities has increased over the past two years, the number of alcohol-related fatalities dropped by more than 50% compared to last January 2019 and 40% compared to January 2018. Motorists can reduce the risk of New Mexico car accidents by always wearing a seatbelt, obeying the speed limit, and eliminating distractions. Source: UNM

    Preliminary Report: 2019 Traffic Fatalities

    Statewide (February 4, 2020) – Emerging data from the New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) suggests that 2019 was the deadliest year for traffic accidents since 2007, with at least 408 crash-related deaths throughout the state.

    Alcohol was reportedly a factor in at least 32.8% of all fatal accidents last year. A complete picture of last year’s fatality trends will continue to develop as the Traffic Safety Bureau analyzes and finalizes 2019 crash data provided by NMDOT. 

    Have you been injured in a car accident in New Mexico? Contact an Albuquerque car crash lawyer at Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys today for a free case evaluation. Source: UNM

    Traffic Fatality Update: A Worrying Trend

    Statewide (November 15, 2019): This past October, there were 34 traffic fatalities, according to the New Mexico Department of Transportation Monthly Traffic Fatality Report. In 2018 and 2017, there were 44 and 42 traffic fatalities, respectively, for the month of October. 

    While there were fewer fatalities in October, comparatively speaking, the overall traffic fatalities are on an upward trend. So far, there have been approximately 347 traffic fatalities since 2019 began. In 2018, there were approximately 331 traffic deaths around this time of the year, and 2017 saw 322 around this time of the year. Hopefully, safety measures such as repairing roadways will help make driving safer in New Mexico.

    If you suffered a traffic injury in New Mexico, contact Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys for a free consultation regarding your personal injury case. Source: UNM Traffic Report

    Fewer Fatalities in June

    Statewide (August 9, 2019): According to the New Mexico Monthly Traffic Fatality Report, there were only 29 traffic fatalities in June 2019. This is a 21% decrease from June 2018 (37 fatalities), and a 14% decrease from June 2017 (34 fatalities). Furthermore, only 3 out of the 29 fatalities involved alcohol, which is 15 fewer than in June 2018, and 4 fewer than in June 2017.

    Hopefully the downward trend continues as the year goes on. The ideal situation would be for there to be no deaths on the road. However, accidents do happen, and if you happen to be in one, contact Lerner and Rowe. Don’t drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and stay vigilant while on the road. Source: New Mexico Monthly Traffic Fatality Report

    Fatalities Continue to Rise

    Statewide (June 14, 2019) – The month of May 2019 saw 37 total traffic fatalities, which is more than May 2018’s traffic-related fatalities (29) and May 2017’s traffic-related fatalities (32). The previous two months of 2019 also saw elevated numbers when compared to the corresponding months of previous years. If trends continue, June will have an even higher amount of traffic-related deaths. To stay safe on the road, make sure you drive defensively, stay vigilant, and obey all traffic rules and laws. Source: NM Monthly Traffic Fatality Report

    NM Fatalities

    Albuquerque (May 8, 2019) – Since the beginning of the year, there have been over 100 fatalities on New Mexico’s roads. If this trend continues, 2019 will have more deaths than either of the two previous years. Stay safe on the road, and keep an eye out for unexpected hazards, too. Source: New Mexico Monthly Traffic Fatality Report, 2019

  • News

    Driver Fatigue Leads to Deadly Crash on I-10

    Luna County (July 16, 2020) – A 12-year-old girl and a 10-year-old boy suffered fatal injuries in a single car accident near Deming, New Mexico on Monday night.

    A family of eight was driving on Interstate 10 when their Chevy Suburban left the roadway and rolled just after midnight. A 37-year-old woman identified as the mother of the six children in the vehicle is believed to have been suffering from driver fatigue when the accident occurred.

    The woman, her 42-year-old partner, and her 16-year-old son were all transported to a local hospital with injuries that were reportedly not life-threatening. The three other children in the vehicle were not injured.

    At Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys, we empathize with this family’s loss and strongly encourage drivers to not get behind if they are tired or distracted. Source: Deming Headlight

    Drunk Driver Charged With Vehicular Manslaughter

    Albuquerque (June 25, 2020) – 36-year-old Enrique Rivera has been charged with DWI-related vehicular homicide following the June 13 crash that killed Edgar Falcon-Linares on Albuquerque’s West Side.

    According to witnesses of the car accident, Rivera was racing with another vehicle in a Dodge Charger when he t-boned Falcon-Linares’ Pontiac. Rivera’s vehicle suffered front-end damage and the Pontiac was reportedly split in half by the collision.

    Falcon-Linares was ejected from his vehicle and died at the scene. Rivera told investigators he has no memory of the crash and denies drinking and driving, but responding officers say he failed a field sobriety test and smelled of alcohol. Source: Albuquerque Journal

    Four Cars Involved in Deadly Crash in Rio Rancho

    Rio Rancho (June 4, 2020) – A traffic collision involving four vehicles and six people on Monday killed a young girl and seriously injured two others, according to local police.

    The car accident occurred on the NM 528 highway around 3:00 p.m. Investigators are unsure at this time what caused the accident, but noted that one vehicle rolled and another struck a pole. 

    The driver of the vehicle which overturned sustained serious head injuries, while one of the passengers in the vehicle that hit a pole, a juvenile girl, was killed. Another girl in that car was also seriously injured.

    Three other passengers in the remaining two vehicles suffered minor injuries and their cars sustained little damage. Source: Rio Rancho Observer

    Man Held Without Bail on Vehicular Homicide Charges

    Sunland Park (May 22, 2020) – A 29-year-old man accused of vehicular homicide is behind bars in Doña Ana County after a violent car crash took the life of 32-year-old Danielle Perez earlier this month.

    Suspect Eric Solis was attempting to evade police in Sunland Park, New Mexico on May 9 when he ran a red light and slammed into three vehicles at an intersection. Solis was traveling at speeds of up to 95 miles per hour at the time of the crash.

    Danielle Perez was driving her vehicle with several of her children inside when she was struck by Solis head-on in the multi-car collision. Perez died at the scene of her injuries, while six others, including her children, were sent to area hospitals. Source: CBS 4 Local

    Woman Fleeing Police Dies in Fiery Crash

    Santa Fe (April 30, 2020) – A 37-year-old woman perished in a fiery car accident last week while trying to evade law enforcement, according to New Mexico State Police.

    Police officers were attempting to stop Jacqueline Morfin for speeding on I-25 when she took off in her Dodge Caravan. The driver reportedly led the officers on a reckless 10-mile chase, during which she drove the wrong way in the northbound lanes of the I-25 and eventually crashed into a concrete barrier. 

    The vehicle erupted in flames, and although firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze, Morfin was pronounced dead at the scene. Two officers involved in the pursuit were also injured when their police cruiser struck a cable barrier in the median and overturned. Source: SFNM

    Stolen Car Runs Stop Sign, Kills Motorcyclist

    Albuquerque (April 10, 2020) – A father of seven was killed on Tuesday in a motorcycle accident in northeast Albuquerque, according to authorities.

    67-year-old John Peralta died after a car ran a stop sign near Claremont Avenue and Cagua Drive at a high rate of speed.

    The driver of the car, which police later determined was stolen, did not stop after hitting Peralta.

    The driver and passenger in the vehicle were eventually located. The alleged driver was taken into custody while the passenger remains in the hospital recovering from his injuries.

    A spokesman for the District Attorney’s Office says the driver will likely be charged with vehicular homicide in addition to leaving the scene of an accident. Source: Albuquerque Journal

    Department of Health Issues Public Health Emergency Order

    Statewide (March 20, 2020) – The Department of Health, with the support of Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, released an amended Public Health Emergency Order yesterday in response to the developing New Mexico COVID-19 outbreak

    The order implements new restrictions to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus throughout New Mexico, where 43 confirmed cases have been reported. Following the example of other states, mass gatherings have now been prohibited in addition to the closure of all businesses “not engaged in the provision of an essential service”. 

    Other key measures included in the amended order are limiting hotels to 50% capacity and placing limits on the number of medications, medical equipment, baby formula, diapers, and hygiene products customers may purchase. Source: NM Department of Health

    Police: Woman Struck by Car Was in the Crosswalk

    Albuquerque (March 12, 2020) –  New details have emerged in the case of a fatal pedestrian accident that occurred over the weekend. Albuquerque Police Department identified 59-year-old Julie Westfall as the victim hit by a truck on Sunday morning at the intersection of Eubank and Constitution. 

    Westfall was reportedly in the crosswalk and the walk signal was illuminated when a black GMC truck turned right on a red light and struck her. She died at the scene.

    Although police say that neither speeding nor alcohol were a factor in the deadly crash, the unidentified driver is under investigation and may face criminal charges by the District Attorney. Source: ABQ Journal

    Training Simulator Aims to Prevent Garbage Truck Crashes

    Albuquerque (February 20, 2020) – A new training simulator unveiled by the city’s Solid Waste Management Department is helping garbage and recycling truck drivers learn how to drive in less than ideal traffic conditions. 

    The TransSim Truck Driving Simulator helps trainees practice avoiding potential obstacles like bad weather, construction, and children playing in the street. Solid Waste hopes to curb accidents involving its truck drivers, of which there have been 72 in the past two years.

    New Mexico motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians are particularly vulnerable to run-ins with garbage trucks due to their size. If you’ve been injured in a garbage or recycling truck accident in Albuquerque, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys today to find out more. Source: KRQE

    ART Bus Strikes and Kills Belligerent Woman

    Albuquerque, NM (January 28, 2020): A woman was struck and killed by a vehicle on Tuesday evening following belligerent and reckless behavior. Witnesses say the woman was moving in and out of lanes, in front of vehicles, and generally causing a scene. People tried to guide her to safety, but she eventually lay down in the middle of the street when an ART bus ran her over. An investigation is ongoing, and police are looking into whether the woman was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the bus accident.

    Whether you’re a pedestrian or driver, it is best to always act with prudence and foresight on New Mexico roads. Source: KRQE 13

    4,000 Fewer AFR Calls in New Mexico

    Statewide (January 14, 2020): The Albuquerque Fire Rescue (AFR) received 105,000 calls last year, the first time in several years the agency has seen a drop in the number of calls. This is in part thanks to a new program called the Home Engagement and Alternative Response Team (H.E.A.R.T.). The program allows people who frequently call 911 to connect with the appropriate resources in a timely manner, thereby reducing unnecessary expenditures of time, energy, manpower, and other resources.

    If you’ve suffered a personal injury, seek medical attention right away. After, contact Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys for a free consultation. Source: KOB4

    New Mexico Ranked Number 5 on “Most Impaired Driving Deaths” List

    Statewide (January 1, 2019): New Mexico ranks 5th highest in the country when it comes to the number of impaired driving deaths in 2019. According to one report, there were 107 car crashes involving alcohol in New Mexico, 2019. While this is fewer than the 2018 figure (139 fatalities), New Mexico has a long way to go when it comes to reducing drinking and driving.

    If you suffer an injury from a drunk or impaired driver, contact Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys right away for a free consultation. Also, make sure that you drive sober and alert, without any influence of drugs or alcohol. Source: KRQE