Is someone intentionally targeting drivers by putting huge rocks in the middle of Paseo del Norte?
That’s what police think may be happening on a west side stretch of the busy Albuquerque road, after a couple of recent crashes.
A lifelong west side resident, Andrew Apodaca says he saw more than a dozen rocks on the road Sunday night while driving Paseo between Golf Course Road & Kimmick Drive NW.
“It definitely looks like someone is strategically trying to hurt somebody,” said Apodaca.
Apodaca says just before 10 p.m., he was heading to the grocery store, eastbound on Paseo toward Golf Course Road, when he saw the car in front of him swerve.
“Before you know it, in a split second, I see these huge rocks just flying up in the air right at my car,” said Apodaca.
Those rocks were the volcanic rocks the city has used to landscape the median at Paseo del Norte near the pedestrian bridge over Paseo. One of the rocks popped his tire, while a second rock damaged the hood of his car. One of the rocks also bounced off Apodaca’s windshield, leaving a scrape in the glass.
“I’m just lucky nothing crazy happened to me,” said Apodaca.
Another eastbound driver wasn’t so lucky. Joshua Duquette hit a rock he described as the size of a basketball.
“I just felt a nick underneath my tire and my tires they, they just kind of jumped off the ground a little bit,” said Duquette.
The rock caused Duquette to lose control of his car, which eventually rolled into the median.
“If I had been in the passenger’s seat, or if I had anybody in the car with me, they would have all…they would have all been dead,” said Duquette.
The force of the crash caved in the roof of Duquette’s new car and shattered his windshield, totaling the car, which Duquette had only had for a few days.
According to the crash report, even the responding police officers believe the rocks were “intentionally placed or thrown into the road.”
“I almost have no doubt that somebody did this intentionally,” said Duquette.
Duquette and Apodaca are now warning others about the roadway.
“Wind can’t blow those huge things that way,” said Apodaca. “Just watch the street because people keep doing this.”
KRQE News 13 asked Albuquerque Police if they’ve received other reports of these rocks potentially being placed in the middle of Paseo del Norte, however, a department spokesman didn’t answer the question Tuesday.
Online, several other drivers who live in that area say they’ve seen the exact same thing recently.
The city of Albuquerque’s Solid Waste Department oversees maintaining most medians in the city.
The department’s spokeswoman said a crew was sent to check out the area Tuesday, but so far, they have no plans on doing anything different with the thousands of rocks along that median.