New Mexico man sentenced in deadly 2018 crash


LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KRQE) – A New Mexico man has been sentenced after pleading guilty to charges of homicide by vehicle and two counts of great bodily harm by vehicle. The Third Judicial District Attorney’s Office reports that Ruben Rojas has been sentenced to 10 years in the New Mexico Corrections Department.

The crash took place around 11 p.m. on November 15, 2018 near Vado, New Mexico when two vehicles were parked by the side of the road waiting for a tow truck. The driver of a Nissan sedan, Michael Cuaron, had broken down along the highway and called his mother, Michelle Cuaron, and his sister, Nicolle Cuaron to assist him.

The District Attorney’s Office states Michelle parked her SUV behind the sedan and put on emergency flashers as all three individuals waited inside the SUV for a tow truck. Officials report that a Silver Dodge truck driven by Rojas was traveling east on I-10 when the truck hit the SUV from behind.

A press release from the District Attorney’s Office states that there were no brake marks on the roadway and the impact of the crash pushed the SUV into the sedan. Michelle Cuaron was pronounced dead at a hospital while the two siblings in the SUV sustained several fractures and multiple injuries.

According to the District Attorney’s Office Rojas smelled of alcohol and he had a gash on his head. Rojas reportedly told officers that he didn’t remember anything before the crash and was transported to a hospital for treatment and an blood alcohol test.

Two open beer containers were also reportedly found in Rojas’ truck. District Court Judge Conrad Perea presided over the sentencing.

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