An alleged drunk driver is accused in a crash that injured three New Mexico college students over the weekend.
The group was heading to a New Mexico State football tailgate Saturday evening when out of nowhere, the victims say a car turned in front of them.
After the crash, Las Cruces Police arrested 48-year old Robert Alarcon, accusing Alarcon of DWI and various other driving-related charges.
Police say Alarcon admitted to drinking, had an open beer can in his vehicle and blew above the legal limit during an alcohol breath test.
“All I knew is that I could start smelling smoke from the airbag,” said Gabby Caffaro, whose car was hit during the crash.
“My whole neck was just burning, my hands hurt,” said Caffaro. “She started screaming that she couldn’t feel her leg and my sister was crying.”
The crash happened around 7 p.m. Saturday evening as Caffaro was behind the wheel. Police believe Caffaro was traveling down Del Rey Road in Las Cruces when another SUV turned in front of her car. Caffaro had two other passengers in her car, including her sister Abby and a friend.
“It was probably the worst call I could make,” said Abby Caffaro, speaking of calling her mom after the crash to tell her what happened.
“That was all I could think about is that maybe something happened to Gabby,” said Marylou Bonacci, mother of two of the girls hurt in the crash.
“These girls are innocent kids,” said Bonacci.
According to a criminal complaint filed in the case, Alarcon told police he had four 24-ounce beers within one hour. Alarcon is also accused of hitting a light pole that fell onto a house shortly before the crash.
For Marylou, the crash is a reminder of how drunk driving can affect anyone at any time.
“Don’t give him the opportunity to do this again and possibly kill somebody,” said Bonacci.
Alarcon has at least one other drunk driving case on his record. Court documents show Alarcon pleaded no contest in 2017 to a DWI case from 2016.
The three girls who were hurt in the crash were all wearing their seatbelts and are all recovering from their injuries.