SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) - A police pursuit in Santa Fe has ended with the fleeing driver dead after he crashed his car into a wall.
State police say 21-year-old Juan Martinez was ejected and died at the scene of the crash on Siringo Road near Santa Fe High School early Sunday.
State Police Spokesman Lt. Robert McDonald said an officer tried to pull over a speeding Dodge Neon SRT-4 driven by Martinez at about 2:30 a.m.
Instead of stopping, Martinez led the officer on a brief chase before crashing. His car broke apart on impact.
State Police were called in to do an accident reconstruction.
The young man's family is now searching for answers. "It's kind of weird," said his mother Gina C de Baca. "He was coming home, but yet the car was turned in a whole different direction. It doesn't make sense."
His mother told News 13 Martinez was on his way home, but she's not sure where he was coming from. She says he was a kind, hardworking and happy person who was expecting his first child, a baby boy due in August.
"He had such a strong will for life," said his best friend Robert Baca. "No matter what he did, he put his fullest into it and went all out."
Police say they've dealt with Martinez before. Just two months ago, he was arrested for reckless driving and resisting/obstructing an officer.
His mother says Martinez had a court date on Thursday to appeal the charges against him and clear his name.
Police are still investigating and say they are not sure if alcohol or drugs were involved in the crash. They say Martinez was not wearing a seat belt.
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