ESPANOLA, N.M. (KRQE) - Sheriff's officials believe the boy's grandfather Mariano Pinon Chavez, 38, may have been driving drunk when he rolled his pick-up truck Saturday just before 5 p.m. It happened on El Llano Road about a mile away from Espanola Valley High School.
Sheriff's deputies found the boy unresponsive in the family home about 100 yards from the crash site. They believe someone pulled the boy out of the truck and then called police. By the time they got there, it was too late the boy was pronounced dead at an Espanola hospital.
Investigators believe the child was tossed from the car because he wasn't wearing his seat belt. They also think his grandfather was very drunk. His blood has been sent to the state crime lab for testing.
KRQE News 13 has learned the boy was being raised by his grandparents. Rio Arriba County Sheriff Thomas Rodelle said the Pinon Chavez admitted he was driving, and is extremely distraught. Rodelle said when he interviewed the suspect he kept calling the child Hijo which in Spanish means son.
A person who witnessed the crash has come forward in the case.
The department is still investigating, but is filing warrants to search the mangled truck, family home and other undisclosed locations.
Pinon Chavez is in custody at the county jail and faces vehicular homicide and reckless driving charges.
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