A Nissan Altima traveling northbound in the southbound lane of I-25 at a high rate of speed struck a Rocky Mountain EMS medical transport vehicle head-on, ejecting and killing the apparent driver of the Nissan. Santa Fe Police believe but aren't certain at this point that the ejected victim was the driver.
Rocky Mountain EMT Vanessa Carrillo of Santa Fe suffered facial fractures, elbow fractures, and fractures to the femor, tibia and fibula of both legs, according to Rocky Mountain Director of Operations Jennifer Guhl. Carrillo, who was also a volunteer for Santa Fe County Fire Department out of La Cienega Station, was airlifted to New Mexico University Hospital and is in critical condition.
Santa Fe Police have not released the name of the wrong-way driver or the passenger pending family notification, but told SFR both were female Santa Fe residents [update, 6 pm: SFR has since learned that both were from out of town. One has an address out of Albuquerque, but police don't believe that is her current home. The driver was 27 years old and the passenger is 38]. The apparent passenger of the Nissan was transported to CHRISTUS St Vincent's Regional Medical Center and is in stable condition, according to Santa Fe Police Chief Aric Wheeler.
"Any time you have a crash involving high rates of speed this early in the morning, suspicion of alcohol is involved." Wheeler says. He adds the car sustained significant damage and a search warrant will be executed to look for empty containers and other evidence relevant in the crash.
"I've heard conversations about them drinking in the night, but I haven't even gotten to that point in the investigation," Wheeler says. "That's something we will try to follow up on in the investigation as to if there was alcohol, where did it come from how was it provided."
Guhl says she heard alcohol was a factor in the crash.
update, 6 pm: Wheeler says his agency will be working with the New Mexico State Investigations Division to determine whether any of the numerous reports he's heard that the Nissan occupants were seen drinking at various establishments are true.