Police say one driver ran a red light and the other was drunk. They crashed and a pedestrian wound up dead, but now neither of the drivers are charged.
After the fatal crash in June, the suspected drunken driver who hit the pedestrian was initially charged with the crime. However, she claimed it wasn’t her fault.
Now, the crash report is providing some answers.
Police lapel video shows Valerie Nieto pleading with officers after a deadly crash at Montgomery and an I-25 off-ramp around 1 a.m. Tuesday, June 17.
“Officer, I didn’t do anything wrong,” says Nieto in the video. “If you, if you look at the cameras, even look at the cameras.”
Nieto initially denied being drunk, but blew more than .08 and failed a field sobriety test.
Still, she claimed she didn’t cause a crash with another car — or the death of Carlos Medrano-Olivas when her SUV rolled and struck him.
In the criminal complaint, she says another driver ran a red light and hit her. She was still charged with a deadly DWI crash.
“I’m just sitting here talking to you; this is pretty serious, obviously,” says an APD officer in the video. “Even if somebody did run the light, you’re not supposed to be drinking and driving.”
Now, all of her charges have been dismissed.
“At some point, the District Attorney decided to not prosecute this and we’re looking into whether other charges will apply to other people,” said Albuquerque Police Officer Simon Drobik.
In an email, the DA’s office says it’s “waiting on a few more reports … before we can finalize the investigation.”
KRQE News 13 obtained the crash report, which says the other driver, identified as teenager Alyssa Cross, ran a red light traveling “approximately 55 to 65 miles per hour.”
It says Nieto had a green light when Cross hit her, which is also backed by a witness statement.
So far, Cross hasn’t been charged with anything in the case.
Police now say that could change.
“These are complex investigations,” said Officer Drobik. “It takes a lot of subpoenas to get info from cars; to get witness statements done; to get camera video surveillance or anything. These don’t happen overnight.”
Police say Cross could face charges, and Nieto’s charges could be refiled depending on the DA.
APD says the investigation could continue for a few more months.