RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) – The community is rallying behind a beloved high school teacher after he was hit in a six-car pileup that sent him to the hospital.
“He has lots of family members there supporting him. His boys, you know, he has two young boys,” said Rio Rancho High School Principal Sherri Carver. “Our hearts go out to that family.”
She said Matt Farley has been a teacher at the high school for 17 years, most recently teaching zoology.
“They take Mr. Farley’s class because he’s Mr. Farley,” Carver said.
He is the kind of teacher students remember long after graduation.
Yearbooks show him joking with a student voted class clown and posing when he was voted “most relatable” teacher.
However, a massive car crash at Eubank and Academy sent Farley to the hospital three weeks ago in critical condition.
Carver says teachers are calling to ask how they can help.
“Teachers are wanting to take food, that’s their initial reaction,” she said.
Some have even asked if they can give him their sick leave.
But they’re also asking about the driver who caused the pileup, Carver said.
Albuquerque Police said at the time that a preliminary investigation showed a woman driving an Infiniti, believed to be on drugs, was driving fast when she rear-ended a Volkswagen stopped at a red light.
Police said the impact caused the Volkswagen to hit two cars, and the woman also ended up hitting two more cars.
On Monday, the Albuquerque Police Department told KRQE News 13 that the woman they believe caused the crash has not been arrested, saying they’re waiting for a toxicology report to see if she was on drugs before completing the investigation and determining if she’ll face charges.
“We’ve got a beloved teacher in the hospital now because of this driver’s actions,” Carver said. “My hopes are that there’s justice and the justice system works.”
Normally when police suspect someone is driving under the influence, they would do field sobriety tests to see if there’s cause for arrest.
However, APD said that wasn’t possible in this case where the woman had to be taken straight to the hospital.
Because she is not charged, police are not naming the driver they say caused the crash.