LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — No charges are being filed against the driver of a minivan that fatally struck the school superintendent for New Mexico’s second-largest city of Las Cruces, police said Monday.
Karen Trujillo, a former leader of the state Public Education Department, was hit Feb. 25 while walking her two dogs and died at a hospital from her injuries. The 50-year-old Trujillo led Las Cruces Public Schools during the pandemic and during a cyberattack that crippled the school system’s computer systems.
Las Cruces police said investigators determined the minivan was traveling within a safe range of speed for the roadway where the crash occurred and Trujillo was walking in the roadway. Police said investigators also believe Trujillo was wearing earbuds and likely was unable to hear the vehicle approaching. According to police, the minivan’s driver said his direction of travel was toward the setting sun and he was unable to see the pedestrian.
Investigators believe the driver’s ability to avoid the crash would have been difficult or impossible. Because no charges have been filed, police said they won’t publicly release the name of the driver.