ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The man accused of stealing a state-owned SUV and crashing into another vehicle, seriously injuring two people, made his first court appearance on Tuesday, Mar. 28. 37-year-old John Bearden Jr. is accused of fleeing the scene of a crash, stealing a car, and two counts of great bodily harm by motor vehicle.
According to a criminal complaint, a state employee left the SUV running, and Bearden Jr. took off with it. Bearden Jr. told police he was on meth and became disoriented on the fairgrounds. He claims this is what led him to speed through the area and t-bone another vehicle.
The incident occurred Monday morning, Mar. 27, near Bell Avenue and San Pedro Drive in southeast Albuquerque. A 43-year-old man suffered from bleeding in the brain due to the crash. A 10-year-old girl also suffered from bleeding in the brain due to the crash, as well as a fractured femur and pelvis, and chest and liver damage. She is now unable to breathe on her own. A gofundme page has been set up to help with the medical costs; to donate click here.
Bearden Jr. fled the scene but was caught a short time later. The state has filed to detain Bearden Jr. KRQE News 13 will provide updates as they become available.