ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Albuquerque police say a nasty wreck on Interstate 40 that left a lot of drivers fuming was caused by a woman with a criminal and traffic rap sheet that could make a lot of people see red.
Police say Angelique Peña-Chavez, 35, was driving westbound on I-40 near Rio Grande Blvd when she hit a semitrailer that had pulled off to the side of the road. Her car spun back into traffic where it was hit by another car.
Peña-Chavez and a 10-year-old passenger from her car were rushed to UNM Hospital with life-threatening injuries.
"While they were going into surgery, the surgeon found a large amount of crack cocaine in a body cavity of Ms. Peña-Chavez," said Officer Simon Drobik, an Albuquerque Police Department spokesman.
A criminal-records search of Peña-Chavez turned up more than 70 criminal and traffic cases, including several that were drug-related.
The drug-related charges included drug possession, drug trafficking and attempting to sneak marijuana into the Metropolitan Detention Center. She also has five shoplifting charges and an aggravated battery charge
But it's Peña-Chavez's driving record that's truly unbelievable.
Court records for Peña-Chavez show:
- driving with a suspended or revoked license nearly 25 times
- driving without insurance more than 35 times
- at least 13 speeding ticket
- at least four tickets for running red lights
- one DWI charge
In addition to that, court records also show she's failed to appear in court at least 55 times and failed to pay fines a dozen times.
APD says they don't know where Peña-Chavez was going with the cocaine but plan on asking her.
"We haven't had a chance, an opportunity to interview her, but she is facing numerous charges," Drobik said.
As of late Tuesday Peña-Chavez was listed in critical condition at UNM Hospital.
Despite all of her driving issues, Drobik says it appears her license was valid at the time of the wreck although there was a misdemeanor warrant out for her arrest.
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