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Investigators release findings in officer-involved crash that killed boy

Jen French
September 22, 2017 10:22 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Bernalillo County investigators estimate Albuquerque Police Department officer Jonathan McDonnell was driving nearly 80 miles per hour seconds before crashing into a family. However, investigators do not plan on filing any charges against the officer or the other driver.

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In a crash report released Friday, investigators wrote that McDonnell was responding appropriately to a suspecting wielding a machete at a nearby Albertson’s. Another officer who was responding to the same call told deputies that McDonnell had his emergency lights on.

Antoinette Suina said she was heading to Hobby Lobby. The light was green at Indian School and Eubank while she waited for a car to pass before turning left. She claims she didn’t see McDonnell coming.

Surveillance video from two nearby Northeast Heights businesses from Monday, April 17 show McDonnell colliding into Suina’s SUV head-on then spinning clockwise before coming to a stop.

Hospital staff immediately determined that 6-year-old Joel Anthony was brain dead. His sister, 9-year-old Ariana, sustained a collapsed lung and minor spinal fracture as well as two pelvis fractures. Pins had to be placed in her foot and ankle. Their mother also had to be rushed to the hospital. She vaguely recalls anything after the crash.

McDonnell was hospitalized for a broken femur. The city-appointed attorney representing him is John D’ Amato.

The crash report also contains witness statements. One told investigators the "two children appear to be unconscious." A registered nurse stopped and asked if anyone needed help. Another witness said, "The officer attempted to avoid the other vehicle but could not." Many witnesses confirmed with investigators that McDonnell was speeding.

It is up to internal affairs and possibly Police Chief Gorden Eden to determine if McDonnell will face any discipline.

Credits

Jen French

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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