BERNALILLO, N.M. (KRQE) – A New Mexico woman says she nearly lost her life when checking her mail back in May. Now, she’s wanting someone to pay for it, but finding someone to take responsibility is a lot harder than she imagined.
It was just another day in May when Gloria Valdez went to check her mail at the intersection of Old Highway 44 and Camino del Pueblo in Bernalillo. Nearby, was a tree.
“This was a very large tree that had been decaying and showed visible signs of decay for a very long time,” says Jacob Candelaria. Ms. Valdez was in the driver seat. She had just gotten back in her car from handling her mail. At that moment, the car fell crushing the entire rear side of her vehicle,” Candelaria continued.
Candelaria is Valdez’s attorney. He says his client wasn’t hurt, but the car was totaled and she is still suffering from psychological injuries. Now, they’re suing the Town of Bernalillo, New Mexico Department of Transportation, Sandoval County, and the private business owner.
Candelaria says there’s no reason a tree that old and unhealthy shouldn’t have been there in the first place. “In this case, the city, the government, and the private land owner didn’t do the yard work. Someone nearly died because of it,” he says.
However, finding someone to take the blame for this, was proving to be a lot more difficult than they imagined. The Town of Bernalillo sent a letter saying they did an investigation and did not find any fault with their employees or the town.
A spokesperson with the New Mexico Department of Transportation didn’t want to comment on the lawsuit, but did say their crews schedule tree cutting in the spring and summer months. They also address the problem whenever they get a complaint.
We also tried to ask Mayor Jack Torres how often trees are trimmed and removed in Bernalillo, but he did not want to answer that question. Sandoval County and the private business owner have not responded to our request for comment.
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