‘I want answers’: 5 months after couple killed by suspected drunk driver, no charges filed

Crime

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Five months after the death of a New Mexico couple, the suspected drunk driver, who witnesses say caused the crash that killed them has not been charged. This comes despite a mound of evidence. The night Bob and Bonnie Hartwig died is one their families will never forget.

“What was a hopeful weekend turned into a tragedy,” said Bonnie’s brother Gary Fritcke. On July 25, the Hartwigs were meeting their son’s new girlfriend.

Fritcke was expecting a call to hear about how well the meeting went, but that wasn’t the kind of call he received. “He was very, very emotional. Broken up, crying and all I remember was ‘they’re gone’ and that kind of haunts me to this day,” said Fritcke.

The crash that killed the Hartwigs is well documented through police video and witness interviews explaining who the driver of the truck was. Thirty-five-year-old Omar Martinez was flying down Lomas and had been doing so for more than a mile when he ran a red light and t-boned the Hartwig’s SUV.

The Hartwig’s SUV was hit so hard in the Lomas Blvd. and Louisiana Blvd. intersection, it ended up a block away. “I mean, the driver’s seat was turned at a 45-degree angle to the door, the driver’s door. Imagine the force, the impact of that,” said Fritcke.

Bonnie and Bob died at the hospital. Martinez survived and was awake following the crash. Despite video evidence and witness interviews, five months after the deadly crash, Martinez has still not been charged with any crime.

“I’ve always had a lot of faith in our juridical system, our police, but this one’s shaking me. I’m wondering what’s going on,” said Fritcke. In September, the Albuquerque Police Department told KRQE News 13 alcohol may have also played a factor in the crash and they were awaiting toxicology results.

Now, that is still the case. An APD spokesperson said toxicology results are currently taking six months or longer to come back.

Fritcke says the current five-month wait time has already felt like forever. “I want answers and without those answers, I don’t think we’re ever going to be able to move on,” said Fritcke.

Bob, a devoted public servant, was known for being as cautious as possible, even on the night of the crash. “Bob didn’t like taking the freeway. He thought that the street route would be a safer way to return from the airport,” said Fritcke.

Bonnie was a dog lover whose last conversation will stick with Fricke forever. “Kind of, I think ironically, one of the things she shared with me was that if anything ever did happen to her and Bob she would know that their son would not be alone.”

Martinez has two prior DWI convictions and in one case, he was going 35 mph over the speed limit. APD says once their investigation is complete, they’ll forward the case to the district attorney’s office.

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