ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Months after a deadly crash involving a county employee, News 13 is learning what happened. Video released Thursday shows it was a horrific scene near the Metropolitan Department of Corrections.
A corrections officer on his way home, hit and killed two men in front of family members. Deputies said those family members then went after the corrections officer.
“It was crazy, I don’t even know how I am here,” one of the victim’s wives describes in the video to deputies how she jumped out of the way as a car came barreling towards her.
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It happened on May 21 near MDC on the frontage road of eastbound I-40. It was just after 1 a.m. and a corrections officer was headed home when he slammed into Gustavo Garcia and Erick Varela killing them instantly.
Family and friends of Erick Varela were out on the mesa, celebrating the purchase of his new Can-Am offroad vehicle. His Can-Am off-road vehicle had broken down partially on the frontage road. His friend, Gustavo Garcia, and his family went to help Varela repair the broken belt on the back of the vehicle.
The corrections officer, witnesses, deputies, and even the video showed how dark it was on that stretch of the road. “I mean you can’t…I was standing next to that unit and you can’t see it. You can’t see any of them,” one deputy is heard saying. “No, it didn’t even, it was pitch black. I didn’t see nothing, I just heard it,” another witness said to a different deputy.
The corrections officer told deputies he was driving about 45 to 50 miles per hour, and just didn’t see the group in the road. “I didn’t even see them bro,” the MDC officer said to deputies.
“I didn’t even have time to turn cause I see lights, and I just to the side. And everything hit me, the can-am, parts and I don’t know what,” said Garcia’s wife.
Deputies said the group was so angry, they started attacking the MDC officer, forcing the officer to run away from the crash until deputies arrived. “I was begging them to stop. I didn’t want to like leave,” the MDC officer told deputies.
The driver was not arrested. A memorial is now set up for Varela and Garcia outside of the crash site. The Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office said they’re still investigating the crash, and at this time the corrections officer is not facing any charges. He still works at MDC.