ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – There’s a proposal to rename a portion of south Coors, after a priest who was killed in a crash in that area last month. “Father Graham, to us, and to this community is very special to us. It’s a very big loss,” said Bernalillo County Commissioner Steven Michael Quezada.
A loss that Quezada says was felt not only in the catholic community but all over New Mexico. “He was an amazing representation of not only our religion but our community,” Quezada said.
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Father Graham Golden’s car was hit when he was pulling out of the Santa Maria De La Vid Abbey on Coors near Pajarito, in May. Witnesses reported seeing the car that hit him racing with another.
Recently, the Abbey reached out to City Councilor Klarissa Pena and Commissioner Quezada, asking if they would dedicate south Coors, from Central to the county line to Father Graham, by renaming it after him. “We want to make sure he’s never forgotten,” said Quezada.
Coors however, is a state road. “We don’t have jurisdiction over that,” said Pena. That means if the joint resolution, proposing the name change, is approved by the city and county, they’ll take the proposal to the Department of Transportation.
“It actually has to follow certain criteria, like a certain event or the name of a person,” said Kimberly Gallegos, a spokesperson for the NMDOT.
Gallegos says they get a couple of these proposals every year, and most of them get approved. “You can’t just say, I want to name this street after my neighbor because he was a good person,” said Gallegos. “I’m sure he was a good person, but there is criteria we have to meet.”
Councilor Pena says renaming the street will keep Father Graham’s legacy alive while bringing more attention to ongoing speeding problems all over the city. “We’re losing mothers, fathers, daughters, brothers and sisters,” said Pena. “We need to bring awareness to the speeding problem.”
The resolution will be introduced during Monday night’s city council meeting. Manuel Soria is facing vehicular homicide charges in connection to Father Graham’s death.