ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The family of the Albuquerque DWI officer who was severely injured by a suspected drunk driver is speaking about their experience.

Josh Montaño’s job at APD is with the DWI unit. Last Friday, on his way home from a shift, a suspected drunk driver crashed into him. His wife tells KRQE News 13 that all they can do right now is stay positive.

But he wasn’t able to spend Father’s Day with his two sons. Deverae Montaño, his wife, shares, “I don’t think the six year old completely understands you know, he knows that he’s in the hospital and I think Father’s Day it hurt the most because he was right there but he couldn’t see him. You know, they’re both just glad daddy’s alive.”

Montaño was in the hospital after being hit by a suspected drunk driver on Eagle Ranch and Irving, on June 17. He was able to tell other officers that the suspect, 28-year-old Vaughn Stands, ran the red light before crashing into him.

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Officer Montaño underwent multiple surgeries for broken bones and continues physical therapy at a rehab center. His wife says this is just the beginning of his recovery but her husband is staying positive. “He knows this is short term. He knows that he’s going to eventually get to where, you know, he wants to…things may be a little bit different, but he’s alive. He’s grateful. We’re all grateful,” she said.

In the meantime, the family is preparing for some changes. “Being that he’s out of work, and then when he does return to work, it’s going to be light duty. So it just cuts our income, right in half.”

Despite the situation, they have forgiven the man accused of hurting their loved one. Deverae explained, “Our family is a family of faith. And that’s where we put our hope, all our strength, and we know he’s our complete healer and complete protector. And we know healing is in forgiveness.”

The Montaño family has a GoFundMe set up to help with the financial costs during Josh’s recovery. You can donate here. 

Vaughn Stands is charged with DWI with great bodily harm. The state filed a motion to keep him behind bars until trial.