Teen Charged With Vehicular Homicide; Hatch Man Arrested for Selling Alcohol to Minors
By Carlos Padilla
A horrific crash near the village of Hatch on Tuesday evening, Oct. 14, has left the small southern New Mexico town devastated in the wake of two deaths, injuries to two passengers, and a teenage girl facing serious criminal charges. A Hatch man is also facing charges for selling alcohol to one of the minors involved in Tuesday’s fatal crash.
According to a news release from the Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Office, 32-year-old Elida Garcia and 16-year-old Sonia Rodriguez were killed in the two-vehicle crash.
On Wednesday afternoon, authorities verified that 16-year-old Vanessa Rodriguez is facing several charges related to the crash, including negligent child abuse resulting in death and vehicular homicide. Drunken driving charges are pending.
Vanessa Rodriguez was reportedly driving a 2003 GMC pickup belonging to her parents without their permission on Canal Road headed toward her home in Salem when something happened inside the truck, causing the larger vehicle to strike into Ms. Garcia’s 2002 Hyundai Sonata. The collision took place at approximately 6:45 p.m.
The pickup rolled, partially ejecting Sonia Rodriguez (no relation to Vanessa Rodriguez) and then crushed the teenager.
Garcia’s vehicle, which came to rest in a field, was so heavily damaged that she and passenger, 50-year-old Maria Granados, were trapped inside. Sadly, Ms. Garcia died while First Responders were attempting to extricate her from the car.