ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque Police have arrested a 76-year-old driver following a hit-and-run accident that killed a pedestrian. They say the elderly man tried to claim he didn’t know he hit someone and dragged him more than 600 feet.
Police shut down northbound 2nd Street between Kinley Avenue and Aspen Avenue on Monday night because of the incident.
According to police, 76-year-old John Russell took off from the scene in a small white or silver pickup truck.
Drivers were advised to avoid the area Monday night while police investigated.
Police say they were able to arrest Russell thanks to a sharp-eyed witness who took down the license plate of his pickup truck which led police to his apartment in the Heights. When officers asked him what he at first said he was never on 2nd Street that evening, but then he said he hit a piece of metal while driving on 2nd.
“I guess it could be a possibility that Mr. Russell was unaware of the accident, possibly, because it doesn’t appear the actual accident was his fault,” said APD spokesperson Tanner Tixier. “It looks, to our investigation, that the pedestrian was walking in the roadway when he was struck.”
Officers say the front of Russell’s GMC truck was dented, consistent with hitting someone.
When officers told Russell he hit and killed a person, he said he didn’t know that. He’s now charged for a hit-and-run resulting in death. Police also say this appears to be Russell’s first serious run-in with the law in his 76 years.
No word yet on the identity of the victim.