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Grand jury indicts driver in Las Cruces hit-and-run crash that killed legally blind man

A legally blind man was struck and killed in Las Cruces in March. Thumbnail

Police have identified the man suspected in a hit-and-run crash that killed a legally blind man in Las Cruces.

A grand jury indicted Jose Luis Rodriguez-Antuna, 21, for his involvement in the deadly crash that happened March 30 on Barker Road in Las Cruces.

Police said Rodriguez-Antuna lives on Branding Iron Court, near where the crash happened.

He was charged with a third-degree felony count of leaving the scene of an accident that caused death and a fourth-degree felony count of tampering with evidence. He was also charged with operating a motor vehicle with an expired registration.

Michael A. Chadwick, 52, died after being hit by a blue Ford Mustang driven by Rodriguez-Antuna. Investigators said Chadwick was trying to cross Barker Road around 6 p.m. that day when he was struck. Rodriguez-Antuna fled the scene without calling for help.

Investigators spoke with Rodriguez-Antuna on April 6. He claimed that he became temporarily blinded by the headlights of another vehicle and that’s why he struck Chadwick.

Police said he told investigators that after he left the scene, he asked a friend to repair the damage to his vehicle. Rodriguez-Antuna said he drove his car to El Paso and the friend drove it to Juarez, Mexico.

The evidence was presented to the grand jury Thursday where it was determined that there was probable cause to hand down the indictment.

Rodriguez-Antuna will be summoned to appear in court. Should he fail to do so, a warrant will be issued for his arrest, police said.

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