Police video shows moments after deputy hit by alleged drunk driver


On the night of Thursday, Oct. 25, officers from all over northern New Mexico were racing to get to a bad crash.

Some officers even left other scenes to get to a possible drunk driver who had hit a Rio Arriba County deputy.

“It looks kind of like a mess here,” one State Police officer is heard saying in police video. 

When State Police arrived to the scene near Espanola late last month, debris was scattered across Highway 84. 

One officer asks a deputy on scene, “What’s up brother? He okay?” The deputy responds, “I don’t know, he’s pretty banged up.”

Police found a Rio Arriba County Sheriff’s patrol unit upside down on the side of the road. Inside, was Captain Billy Merrifield, injured but alert. He was off-duty and headed home. 

State Police also found Laverne Mondragon without a scratch. They said she’s the one who pulled onto the highway and broadsided Captain Merrifield. 

The officer asked her, “How much have you had to drink tonight?” Mondragon replied, “One drink, two drinks at the most.”

She also told him that was eight hours ago. The officer immediately suspected Mondragon was drunk.  He conducted field sobriety tests, which she failed miserably. 

The officer then arrested Mondragon and took her to jail.

The officers on scene were thankful Captain Merrifield managed to climb out the wreckage in one piece. The captain did suffer a concussion, however. 

According to the breathalyzer, Mondragon had a lot more than two shots of Captain Morgan. She blew a 0.14. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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