Driver of truck that hit and killed two people in Las Cruces faces murder charges
LAS CRUCES, N.M. —
The driver of a truck that crashed and killed two people in Las Cruces is expected to be charged with first-degree murder, police said.
Carlos C. Garcia, 50, remains hospitalized in stable condition at University Medical Center in El Paso.
Garcia crashed his GMC Yukon into a rock wall after hitting and killing cousins Denise Chavez, 36, and Arturo Cordova, 36, on May 7.
It happened around 4 a.m. on Valley View Avenue.
Cordova and Chavez were watching a boxing match that Saturday night with family and friends on Calle Americana when Garcia showed up claiming he was looking for a friend, police said.
The group did not know Garcia but welcomed him in and allowed him to stay at the party.
Investigators said Garcia was at the party for about 45 minutes before he was asked to leave for being inappropriate with Chavez. Garcia chugged half a bottle of vodka and took a few beers from the home as he was leaving, police said.
Cordova, Chavez and another relative followed Garcia outside and saw him get into his truck. Garcia then began taunting the people at the party by revving his engine and driving up and down the street, police said.
Partygoers followed Garcia onto Valley View and watched as he sped toward North Las Cruces Park. He then made a U-turn on Valley View and sped toward the group.
Investigators said Garcia jumped the curb and struck Chavez and Cordova before hitting the rock wall.
Information retrieved from the truck’s crash data recorder revealed that Garcia was driving at 53 miles per hour one second before the crash, police said. The recorder also showed that Garcia was not wearing a seat belt and never stepped on the brake before the crash.
Because Garcia is hospitalized, formal charges are pending service of a warrant or grand jury indictment.