Woman charged in 2017 crash that killed Rio Rancho teacher


A beloved Rio Rancho teacher who has been fighting for his life, has died. This comes after police say he was hit by an impaired driver 17 months ago. 

KRQE News 13 also learned the driver who police say caused the crash has been indicted.

Rio Rancho High School Principal Sherri Carver said now staff and students will only have memories and stories left to tell of their favorite science and zoology teacher, Matt Farley.

Farley has worked at the school for 17 years.

“He was the type of teacher that you always remember,” Carver said. 

The past 17 months have been difficult for all those who knew him.

“He was in excellent health. He was an avid biker, an outdoorsman and he just loved life,” Carver said. “And he hung on for as long as he could.”

Farley was stopped at red light last June at Eubank and Academy when he was hit from behind. It was part of a six-car pile-up.

Farley and the driver who hit him were both taken to the hospital. At the time, Albuquerque Police didn’t name the driver because she hadn’t been charged.

“One person’s senseless act, what a snowball effect it’s had on so so so many people,” Carver said. 

Seventeen months later, that’s all changed. Police said the driver of that Infiniti was Carol Sanchez.

According to reports, officers believe the 52-year-old was driving at least 65 mph in a 40 mph zone when she crashed into Farley’s car.

The District Attorney’s office also said a toxicology report shows Sanchez was high on meth at the time of the crash.

In April, she was indicted on four charges, the most serious being great bodily harm by vehicle, while under influence drugs.

“Some of our staff members paid weekly visits to him while he was in the hospital and at the rehab center he was at,” Carver said. 

However, Farley never recovered from his injuries and just two weeks ago on Thanksgiving, he passed away.

“He’s just one of those educators that really made a difference and I’m just so sad that this ended in a tragedy,” she said. 

Right now, Sanchez is being held in jail until trial. However, according to court paperwork, Sanchez’s attorney filed a motion in September, asking the judge to reconsider conditions of release. 

Her attorney, Rose Osborne, claims the 52-year-old was suffering from a seizure at the time of the crash. She said, “It is belief that the she (Sanchez) suffered a seizure at the time of the car accident in this case, and that is was a seizure, and not drug use, that caused the wreck.”

Osborne also writes that Sanchez’ toxicology report showed she had a presence of her anti-seizure medication.

Now that the Farley has died, the DA’s office said Sanchez could face more serious charges. 

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