Slate’s Law Blog

Driver and Passenger Die in Head-On Collision in Santa Fe County

Head-on collisions, also known as frontal collisions, are one of the most dangerous car accident scenarios. The risk of death or catastrophic injury from a head-on collision is substantial, even if the cars involved in the accident are not traveling very fast upon impact. The driver and front passenger in a head-on collision have a considerable risk of dying even if the crash happens at a speed that does not exceed ordinary city traffic, and even if the vehicle occupants are wearing seat belts, and the car’s airbags deploy, although any accident with airbags and seat belts is less dangerous than an equivalent accident without them. 

To make matters worse, head-on collisions are more likely to involve aggravating factors that increase the risk of death, such as alcohol or drugs, dangerously high speeds, or egregious driving mistakes, such as driving in the wrong direction in a lane of traffic. If you have suffered serious injuries in a wrong-way collision where the at-fault driver struck your vehicle head-on, contact a Santa Fe motor car accident lawyer.

At Fault Driver Was Driving South in Northbound Lane

One night in February 2024, the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office (SCFSO) received a call about a car that was driving south in the northbound lanes on Hwy. 84/285. The Sheriff’s Office immediately responded by sending deputies to the area, but by the time they arrived, the damage had already been done. A Jeep that was heading South in the northbound lanes struck a Dodge Ram head-on. The driver of the Jeep was a 51-year-old man who suffered injuries serious enough to require hospitalization. The driver and front passenger of the Dodge Ram were pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. They were both 26 years old. Two other occupants of the Dodge Ram suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

The at-fault driver is facing criminal charges for his role in the accident; law enforcement believes that he was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident although news reports did not publish test results of his blood alcohol content (BAC). He is facing two counts each of homicide by vehicle and great bodily injury by vehicle, in addition to DWI and reckless driving. 

The man is a resident of California, but all legal actions related to car accidents must take place in the state where the accident occurred. Therefore, his criminal case will take place in New Mexico. If the injured passengers or the families of the victims file civil lawsuits against him or any other parties determined to be responsible for this accident, the courts of New Mexico have jurisdiction to rule on these lawsuits and the parties must hire lawyers licensed to practice in New Mexico.

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 Bruno Pardini on Unsplash