Police have provided updates to two fatal crashes that occurred Saturday in Albuquerque. Westbound lanes of I-40 were shut down after authorities tweeted of a three-vehicle crash that occurred around 4 p.m.
Albuquerque Police Department says that Robert Ortiz was driving westbound on I-40 near the 6th Street off-ramp in a white Lexus when Ortiz allegedly cut off Vanessa Padilla. According to authorities, Padilla honked at Ortiz, causing him to swerve and his vehicle to roll.
Ortiz, who was allegedly not wearing a seatbelt, was ejected from the vehicle and was transported to the hospital where he died from injuries say police.
APD says Padilla struck the barrier and a third vehicle, an SUV, also swerved and struck the barrier. Authorities state that there is no evidence that any of the vehicles involved ever contacted each other and that alcohol does not appear to be a factor in the crashes.
Another fatal crash occurred around 5 p.m. Saturday when APD says a motorcycle tried to pass a Toyota sedan on the northbound frontage road by San Antonio. The motorcycle allegedly hit the passenger side of the car and the motorcycle’s rider, Fred Williams, separated from the cycle and slid into a street light which caused it to fall into traffic.
Authorities say another motorcycle carrying rider Isaac Salazar and passenger Natalia Wilson was following Williams and lost control of the motorcycle after the initial crash. Salazar and Wilson separated from the motorcycle and police believe Salazar either slid into the light pole that had fallen or that the motorcycle caused his fatal injuries.
Witnesses at the scene tell APD that both motorcycles were traveling at a high rate of speed before the crash. All three individuals on the motorcycles were allegedly wearing helmets.