A 27-year-old Santa Fe man was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving late Wednesday after crashing a pickup into a utility pole at high speed, injuring himself and two other men in the vehicle, police said.
Arthur Esquibel was charged with DWI causing great bodily harm, as well as reckless driving, driving without insurance and driving with an open container, after the 8 p.m. crash at the intersection of Rodeo Road and Richards Avenue, according to police reports.
A Santa Fe Police Department public safety aide witnessed the crash, writing in the report that he saw a 1992 black Dodge Dakota traveling west on Rodeo Road jump the curb and slam into a telephone pole. The public safety aide said he was stopped at a red light at the intersection when he heard the sound of screeching tires as a motorist hit the brakes and saw a pickup swerve to avoid a white van before striking a pole.
A woman who also had been driving on Rodeo Road told a responding officer she saw the pickup cross from the far left lane to the right lane at a high speed and then hit the pole, the reports said.
The pickup was reported to have been totaled.
The public safety aide said in the report that he immediately notified police dispatch and then went to check along with other bystanders on the occupants of the pickup. The aide said he saw the driver — later identified as Esquibel — pinned against the steering wheel, the rear passenger thrown from the back and lodged against the front windshield, and the front passenger pinned against the dashboard.
All three occupants were unresponsive, the aide said. By the time more officers arrived, they were able to pry open the doors. Fire department personnel then extracted the occupants.
Another officer wrote in a report that Esquibel was found unconscious and breathing very faintly, and that the two passengers also had been knocked unconscious and had head injuries. The passengers later woke up asking, “What happened?” the officer said.
Police did not provide an immediate update Thursday on the conditions of the two passengers, a 46-year-old Santa Fe man and a 52-year-old Albuquerque man.
Medics told police Esquibel smelled strongly of alcohol. Police said they also found alcoholic beverages inside the vehicle.
Police did not administer a breath-alcohol test at the scene, but obtained a search warrant for a blood draw at the area hospital where Esquibel was taken.
The reports said Esquibel later tried to walk out of the emergency room, but was handcuffed by an officer and taken to the Santa Fe County jail.
There, a jail nurse refused to accept Esquibel because he had “a few broken ribs and a seat belt burn on his shoulder,” the reports said. He was then taken to a second area hospital, was released from custody and told he would receive a court summons.