Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales’ letter in late September has prompted officials with the New Mexico Department of Transportation to review a stretch of I-25 between Santa Fe and Eldorado where a number of crashes caused by wrong-way drivers has raised concerns.
The letter to Transportation Department Cabinet Secretary Tom Church was prompted by a fatal collision in September that killed two people: Anton Gress, 23, and Clara Avina, 44. According to police, Avina was driving in the wrong lane. When police and county deputies arrived to the scene, Avina’s vehicle was engulfed in flames. Officers attempted to pull Gress from the wreck but were unable to do so before the car burst into flames.
While toxicology reports on the accident are still pending, Avina’s family has said she had been drinking before the accident.
“There appears to be a pattern of accidents along I-25 between the Eldorado exit into the City limits involving wrong-way driving, often by drivers shown later to have been intoxicated,” his letter said.
The New Mexican newspaper also made an inquiry into whether there is a design flaw at the exit that contributed to any accidents.
Emilee Cantrell, spokeswoman for the Transportation Department, said, “There isn’t a design flaw” and the interchange and road is designed to route traffic safely.
The intersection was reconstructed in 2007 after a serious accident in 2006 that raised questions about the design. In that crash, Dana Papst was driving south in the northbound I-25 lane near Eldorado and struck a Las Vegas, New Mexico family of six, killing five people in the minivan and himself.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a automobile, truck or motorcycle accident, contact the Ferguson Law law firm, where you can talk to a specialist, one of our car accident lawyers of Albuquerque.