ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A family relieved tonight, saying they’re finally getting justice. Four years ago, a drunk driver hit and killed a couple in an uber.
“It’s a really big void in our life.” – That’s how the families of Kristian Martinez and Robert Gallegos describe it has been since their deaths.
They have waited four years for this day.
“She was a loving, very compassionate person. We miss most about her [is her] laugh. Just how silly she was,” said Kristina’s brother, Bryan Martinez said.
In 2019, family members said Martinez and Gallegos did the right thing by taking an Uber, and they wished Joseph Urvanejo would have done the same thing. Urvanejo, who was reportedly drunk, slammed into the car they were in near Alameda and Pan American Freeway.
Since the crash, Urvanejo has been out free. Friday in court, he pled guilty to two counts of vehicular homicide.
“I take full responsibility and plead guilty,” Urvanejo addressed the court.
It was a relief to the Martinez family.
“Because that was one of the biggest letdowns is that he hasn’t been behind bars at all. He hasn’t faced any time.”
The family described Martinez as a fun, loving mother/stepmother to three.
“She would bring everybody together,” said Balvina, Kristina’s mother.
“She was always happy in the morning. She always got up with a smile. She would wake us up in the mornings, and I really miss that – having her every morning and every day,” said Anna Montoya, Kristina’s daughter. “She was a very good mom – the best.”
The Martinez family said Friday brings them one step closer to some closure.
“It wasn’t exactly what we wanted either in the end, but you know, we’ll take what we can just because things have been changing from four years ago till today. So, this is probably the best outcome that we could have had, as far as him agreeing to his plea,” said Bryan.
Urvanejo is facing 18 years behind bars and a $12,000 fine. The judge did release him Friday, citing the court doesn’t see him as a flight risk given his cooperation with the court over these past four years.