Slate’s Law Blog

Collision Near Santa Maria de la Vid Abbey Leads to Civil and Criminal Cases

Santa Maria de la Vid Abbey in New Mexico is a community of Norbertine priests. As with members of many other Catholic religious orders, members of the Norbertine community live in accordance with a rule established by the order’s founder; the founder of the Norbertine order was Norbert of Xanten, who lived in France in the 12th century. The Norbertines are not cloistered monks, however, they perform pastoral work in the Albuquerque area, which means driving to various locations within commuting distance of the abbey. Two years ago, a collision that occurred at the intersection of the abbey’s driveway with the main road led to the death of one member of the community and caused serious injuries to another, and several court cases ensued. If you have been injured in a car accident that occurred very close to where you live and work, contact a Santa Fe motor vehicle accident and car accident lawyer.

Injured Seminarian Alleges That Street Racing and Distracted Driving Caused the Accident

In May 2021, Rev. Graham Golden, a priest at the Santa Maria de la Vid Abbey, turned at the stop sign at the end of the abbey’s driveway, turning left onto Coors, the main road. As soon as their car was on Coors, two vehicles approached at high speed, and one of them struck the Norbertines’ car. Rev. Golden was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. He was 35 years old. Brother Lorenzo Edgar Romero, who was 24 at the time of the accident, was riding in the front passenger seat of the car Golden was driving, and he suffered serious injuries.

Manuel Soria, now 24, was driving the car that struck Golden and Romero. In the moments before the crash, he had been racing against Angelica Boyd, now 34. They had both reduced their speed by the time the Norbertines’ car turned onto Coors, but they were still traveling well above the speed limit. Soria and Romero were originally charged with vehicular homicide, but their charges were later reduced. They both pleaded guilty to misdemeanors and received probation sentences. Fr. Golden’s family had requested that the judge not order jail sentences for Soria and Boyd.

Meanwhile, Romero filed a civil lawsuit in August 2022 against the Norbertine community and against Golden’s estate. He alleged that Golden had not made a complete stop at the stop sign before turning onto Coors because he was texting on his cell phone. The parties in the civil lawsuit reached a settlement in November 2022; the settlement amount has not been made public. No matter the outcome of criminal investigations into a car accident, people injured in the accident always have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court.

Contact Slate Stern About Car Accident Lawsuits

Slate Stern is a personal injury lawyer who represents plaintiffs injured in car accidents. Contact Slate Stern in Santa Fe, New Mexico, or call (505)814-1517 to discuss your case.


Photo by Sanjeevan SatheesKumar on Unsplash