ARTESIA, N.M (KRQE) - The New Year's holiday was filled with DWI arrests, along with some crashes. Police say it's amazing one of those drunk drivers survived one of those crashes.
Artesia police said not only did the alleged driver appear very drunk, they said he tried to take some of the heat off of himself by saying a sheriff's deputy was with him.
Officers responded to a crash just after 1 a.m on New Years in the 200 block of West Hermosa. When they got there, they found a GMC truck still running with the cab smashed underneath a large RV park sign and into the driver and passenger seats.
"It speaks to people not having a plan when they drink and going out and drinking a driving," said Commander Lindell Smith, of the Artesia Police Department. "They're putting themselves in danger."
Smith said the driver, later identified as Paco Perez, 28,also put others in danger. Homes were just feet away from where he crashed.
Officers said blood and glass were everywhere. But what was most surprising to police, is that no one was inside the truck when they got there.
Police believe the driver had to crawl out of the smashed, shattered window since the doors would not open.
"When I look at pictures of that vehicle, I'm surprised that they survived that wreck as much damage as the truck has and where the damage is," Smith said. "It's really surprising."
A witness was able to point out Perez, who police said was covered in blood and smelled of alcohol. Remarkably, he only had cuts to his face and hands.
Smith said Perez initially refused to give his name and tried to tell police he wasn't in the truck. According to officers, Perez refused field sobriety tests and was taken to the hospital.
Court documents show Perez later told officers, "Would it make a difference if I told you an officer was in the truck with me?"
The short answer for Perez was no.
"I'm not and my officers weren't fully prepared to believe the actuality of there being somebody else in that car, in particular, a law enforcement officer," Smith said.
The Eddy County Sheriff's Department also confirmed none of its deputies were involved in a wreck New Year's Eve. Perez was charged with DWI, resisting officers and concealing his identity.
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