Officer discusses deadly crash: ‘I didn’t see her until the last second’

An Albuquerque Police officer’s deposition about his high-speed crash that killed a 6-year-old boy is giving new insight into the case.

It was at that deposition last week that Jonathan McDonnell said he was driving too fast down Eubank without looking at his speedometer before crashing into an Albuquerque family.

“Do you take any responsibility whatsoever for the crash that you were involved in that took the life of Joel Anthony [Mumaw]?” Attorney David Jaramillo asked. “Do you take any responsibility?”

“Yes,” McDonnell replied.

The crash at Eubank and Indian School in April 2017 took the life of 6-year-old Joel Anthony Mumaw.
“He saw the good in everyone. My sweet Bubbas will live on,” Mumaw’s mother, Antoinette Suina, said in 2017.

Last week in a deposition for Suina’s lawsuit against the city, McDonnell admitted to going too fast at the time of the crash.

“I do understand with hindsight that my speed was excessive,” McDonnell said.

McDonnell was responding to a high-priority call when investigators said he was doing 80 mph on Eubank right before Suina made a left turn in front of him.

They both had green lights, but APD’s rulebook, called the Standard Operating Procedures, states officers must drive “with due regard for the safety of all persons.”

Attorney David Jaramillo, representing the victim’s family, pointed out McDonnell’s ongoing lawsuit against Suina over the broken leg and trauma he suffered in the crash.

“You also blame Joel Anthony Suina’s mother, Antoinette. Isn’t that true?” Jaramillo asked McDonnell. 

“I didn’t see her until the last second,” McDonnell responded. “I observed that the intersection was clear of traffic.”

Jaramillo wants to know why McDonnell’s internal affairs investigation is still incomplete, and why the city has not yet determined McDonnell’s punishment almost 10 months after Dep. Chief Eric Garcia started overseeing IA cases.

“Det. Anastazio Zamora conducted a full investigation,” Jaramillo explained. “He submitted that information to Dep. Chief Garcia who took this over during the transition from Chief Eden to Chief Geier who conducted a predetermination hearing in the later part of last year, who has said he is ready to enter a final determination of discipline.” 

However, that result hasn’t been released yet.

“We look forward to getting to the bottom of why this new administration — an administration that promised transparency… isn’t it giving that same transparency not only to the public but to the Suina and Mumaw families concerning an incident that took their child’s life,” Jaramillo continued.

A year and a half after the crash, McDonnell is still on the force.

In a deposition from Dep. Chief Garcia, he said McDonnell is looking at anywhere from a two-month suspension to firing.

Officer McDonnell has been involved in at least six driving-related incidents in his decade on the job.

APD gave him letters of reprimand for three of them, and suspended him for three others.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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