A crash at the intersection of N.M. 599 and Interstate 25 Sunday has claimed the lives of two people from Santa Fe, according to Santa Fe County Sheriff's deputies. 

The victims, a 39-year-old man and a 28-year-old woman, were driving a 2020 Hyundai at approximately 5 p.m. when they were struck by a 2011 Chevrolet truck, the Sheriff's Office said. Neither victim has been publicly identified.

Andres Lira-Hernandez, 52, of Albuquerque, failed to stop his truck and collided with the Hyundai on the driver's side.  

Lira-Hernandez was not injured, but there were active warrants for his arrest and he was booked into the Santa Fe County jail. 

Other charges are pending at this time, the Sheriff's Office said.  

(46) comments

Sam Finn

I am truly curious: what makes the car year (2020) and make (Hyundai), and the truck year (2011) and make (Chevrolet), newsworthy?

Emily Koyama

The reporter is just filling in info from the SFPD press release.

Comment deleted.
Jim Klukkert

Leonard Trejo that is a terrible, and arguably racist, thing to claim.

No nationality has a monopoly on safe driving, nor on drunk driving.

Your comment should be deleted as abuse.

Floyd Pacheco

Let’s stop the talk about the roads and focus on the judicial system. It’s not the roads that kill people, it’s the drivers behind the vehicle. The police departments and the judges that let these put people to keep offending. That’s the problem. We have a voice in elections. Let’s use them.

Spencer Windes

It is absolutely the roads that kill people. Cities around the globe have slashed vehicular violence by designing safer roads, lowering speed limits, creating buffered space for pedestrians, and, yes, enforcing traffic laws. There's no reason we can't as well.

Cynthia Paxton

Don't forget to keep an eye on the state legislature, who support bills every year that reduce penalties and hamstring the court's ability to enforce sentences.

Floyd Pacheco

Such a sad situation for a lovely couple, they were one day away from celebrating their one year wedding anniversary. So senseless that they were taken so young by an irresponsible driver.

Floyd Pacheco

Condolences to both families of the deceased. May they Rest In Peace.

Charlotte Rowe

Mike Johnson - one statistic you don't bother to explore is how many of these so-called high drivers would otherwise be drunk drivers. If someone is going to use a drug and drive , they may have just switched from booze to pot.

Mike Johnson

Does that make pot better?

Comment deleted.
Charlotte Rowe

Most drunk drivers in the state are not Mexicans.

Brian Weiss

If people are impaired and run red lights, what feat of road engineering is it that some of you expect will prevent accidents? The problem isn't the road; the problem is some of those using it.

Charge people who drive while impaired and kill someone with murder; charge those who drive impaired and injury anyone with assault. Mandatory jail time.

Khal Spencer

Roundabouts.

Spencer Windes

Yes, roundabouts are demonstrably safer. A new study of them in the Midwest found that they lowered accidents over time, but more importantly, made the accidents that happen far far less deadly.

Charlotte Rowe

You're right, Brian. There need to be severe consequences for DWI, even when there isn't an accident involved. That's the only way to effectively discourage the behavior. Drunk drivers don't kill anyone - until they kill someone. The infraction is just as serious even if there isn't a collision at the time.

Khal Spencer

DWI, reckless driving, excessive speeding. None of that kills...until it does. But we downplay it as though drunk/speeding/reckless drivers are less dangerous than kids bringing guns to school.

Steve Boyles

Lots more street racing since Covid began...

Emily Koyama

👍

I lived in the UK for several years LOTS of roundabouts there. They seemed much safer than 4 way stops or traffic lights, both of which lend themselves to rear end and broadside collisions. Crashes at roundabouts usually occur at lower speeds, and are the less deadly "sideswipe" variety.

Red Eagle

[thumbup]

Maddie Ripperton

👍🏼

Margaret Eyler

We passed the wreckage shortly after it happened and couldn’t discern what object the truck had decimated. Turns out it was a car….The “ENDWI” campaign is a sham until the basics of law enforcement are actually enforced.

Spencer Windes

I was just having a discussion on Sunday with a friend about how dangerous 599 was, how little actual traffic enforcement SFPD does, and how this city just pathologically, revoltingly, ignores vehicular violence. We do nothing to improve our roads, rules and enforcement while the bodies pile up and our elected officials too afraid to stand up to bullies behind the wheel. Other cities have tackled vehicular violence with better street design, safer spaces for pedestrians and bikers, lowered speed limits, and proper enforcement. In the City Different, we're not -- we act like our small, old town is just another mega-suburb where the automobile rules. Until the leadership of our city and county will step up and employ some of these best practices that other cities have used to curb vehicular violence, every death is on them, whether it's this tragedy or the man run down at the corner of St. Frances and Cordova last week. Inaction will continue to mean death and suffering, and maybe next time it will be you or someone you love.

Khal Spencer

I'm still wondering what the "pedestrian error" was that got someone killed at St. Frances and Cordova. As far as NM-599, that is a state highway, not a city street, so you can't blame the city for that design. Also, I think it is a mixed jurisdiction, i.e., some or a lot is outside the city limit so its the county sheriff and state police who would patrol it. I have to cross 599 on bicycle on many of my rides. Its at times terrifying. I asked once if the tunnel to La Tierra Trails could be paved to connect both sides of Camino de las Montoyas for road cyclists. Crickets and then some bureacratic mumbo-jumbo about it being for the trail riders only, etc. Nothing like stovepiping to make a bad situation worse.

But otherwise, agree completely. We do too little, too late with bad, dangerous, and illegal driving. Road redesign is expensive, too.

This morning while waiting to turn left from Alamo to go north on 84/285, two motorists ran the red at high speed headed down the hill off the highway onto St. Francis. That is just normal there, so one just gets used to assuming that will always happen. The fact that there is no significant traffic calming as you come off of the rural state highway into a city is an invitation to speed and blow the red light.

Charlotte Rowe

almost makes you wonder whether intersections should be structured like railroad crossings. Yellow light means the gate is coming down. Yes, people coming down the hill off of 285 onto St. Francis seem to think the speed limit is still 65.

Moses Townsend

This is just my anecdotal experience, but there seems to be a pervasive culture in Central and Northern NM of negligent and dangerous driving. It seems to be prominent north of Albuquerque.

Traffic etiquete and laws that exist in all 50 states don’t seem exist here. It’s as if people have had none or terrible drivers education.

I don’t notice it as much in Southern NM. Not sure why that is.

People here don’t use turn signals, don’t understand yield signs, run red lights way after it began, the list goes on.

Yes crazy drivers exist everywhere but I sometimes wonder if it’s like an intentional cultural thing. I passive aggressively middle finger to the “outsiders” taking over Santa Fe and Northern NM.

Maybe I’m wrong, and it’s just poor quality drivers ed that creates generation after generation of bad drivers.

I do agree poor engineering is probably part of the issue. The majority of Santa Fe seems like it was designed by a 12 year old doing a civil engineering science project. I think part of that is just being an old city that had to adapt to modern America.

Cheryl Meyer

You really have to include Albuquerque in the list of negligent and dangerous drivers. Your comment perfectly fits many ABQ drivers too--don’t use turn signals, don’t understand yield signs, run red lights way after it began, the list goes on. It's like being in a demolition derby driving in ABQ.

Moses Townsend

Ah, I phrased it awkwardly. I meant to say that Albuquerque and everything north is where the drivers seem the worst in NM. I do agree Albuquerque is equally bad as Santa Fe, and maybe worse since they’re more aggressive.

It just doesn’t seem as bad in Southern NM for whatever reason. I do find the people down there usually friendlier so maybe that’s a correlation.

Miguel Perez

We need more State Police officers on our highways and judges who aren’t soft on crime.

Ernest Sanchez

These innocent kids were killed by a serial drunk driver that the State of New Mexico and a Judge in Albuquerque released multiple times for DRUNK DRIVING. This has to stop. Judges and the courts need to be held accountable.

Charlotte Rowe

Agreed. The blame may be less on the police (for once) and more on judicial coddling of these serial criminals.

William Craig

All the intersections along 599 have been deathtraps since it opened two decades ago — very poorly engineered.

Brent Bolen

"Lira-Hernandez was not injured, but had 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞 active warrants for his arrest".

Well it passes a spell checker, but a proof reader would have noticed the error.

Khal Spencer

Did not stop? I assume that means the deceased had the right of way?

What active warrants were out? I can't wait to hear what this latest guy's history is now that he appears to have killed two people.

David Gunter

The police report has a better explanation of what happened. The couple had the right-of-way to make a left town into 599 NB from the light. It is also interesting that there is no mention that Lira-Hernandez may have been impaired, only that he was arrested on the outstanding warrants. It does say further charges may be pending.

https://www.santafecountynm.gov/sheriffs_hotsheets

Khal Spencer

Look both ways, twice, before proceeding. It is, after all, New Mexico, where the state symbol is the descanso.

Mike Johnson

That is a very dangerous intersection, I am always careful to look both ways as the light changes, too many impaired people on the roads, and with smoking dope being legal, there will be many more now.

David Ford

sad but true...[beam]

Nicholas Lerek

@Mike Johnson @David Ford: From a recent Newsweek article:

"When combined with preliminary results from a separate IIHS study that examined reports of injured drivers who visited emergency rooms in California, Colorado and Oregon, it appears that drivers who used marijuana alone were no more likely to be involved in crashes than drivers who hadn't used the drug.

These new results are consistent with a 2015 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) study that found that a positive test for marijuana was not associate with an increased risk of being involved in a police-reported crash."

Khal Spencer

But does NHTSA look at a positive test or at actual impairment? A positive test for cannabis doesn't prove one is still impaired, since the drug indicators stay in the body for a long time after ingestion. One would hope that the old stereotype about stoners driving well under the speed limit holds true, though.

Mike Johnson

Maybe you should read this: "Marijuana significantly impairs judgment, motor coordination, and reaction time, and studies have found a direct relationship between blood THC concentration and impaired driving ability.Marijuana is the illicit drug most frequently found in the blood of drivers who have been involved in vehicle crashes, including fatal ones. Two large European studies found that drivers with THC in their blood were roughly twice as likely to be culpable for a fatal crash than drivers who had not used drugs or alcohol. However, the role played by marijuana in crashes is often unclear because it can be detected in body fluids for days or even weeks after intoxication and because people frequently combine it with alcohol."

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/marijuana/does-marijuana-use-affect-driving

Mike Johnson

"According to NHTSA, drug use among fatally injured drivers who were tested for drugs rose from 25% in 2007 to 42% in 2016, and marijuana presence doubled in this time frame."

https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.gov/files/documents/13839-drugged_facts_flyer_101918_v8_002.pdf

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