Pedestrian critical after Central Ave. hit-and-run

Updated: 07/03/2014 5:30 PM | Created: 07/03/2014 1:28 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

An Albuquerque man is in critical condition – the victim of the city’s second hit-and-run in two days.

Cops hope it’s not a trend. They say hit-and-run drivers are motivated by fear. They’re drunk, or on drugs, or wanted for some other crime. Many are driving without insurance or a license. In these two cases we don’t know what motivated the drivers, because they’re not behind bars yet.

Police say Ferdlyn Lee, 51, was crossing Central Avenue east of Eubank at about 11:15 p.m. Wednesday night when an unknown vehicle struck him and sped away from the scene.

It’s a felony to hit somebody and then keep going, so it’s felony times two for the Tuesday night hit-and-run that killed Donald Gonzales, 50. He was hit by one vehicle at San Mateo and Aztec NE and then hit again and dragged by a second vehicle. Both drivers fled. This afternoon his family’s grief intensified when they learned of the second near-fatal hit-and-run.

“I’m pretty sure these people are watching the news,” said Angelica Gonzales, the victim’s daughter. “So how can you sleep at night knowing that you left a man for dead? He has a family just like everybody else!”

“How do you wake up in the morning like that,” wondered Patricia Gonzales, the victim’s sister. “I want people to know that my brother – he didn’t deserve that. Nobody deserves that!”

Police questioned kids who rushed to help Gonzales after the first car struck him, but the second car got there faster.

New Mexico’s hit-and-run laws are pretty severe. You can do up to six years in prison if the victim dies. That’s a stiffer maximum penalty than Arizona or Texas, but not as tough as Colorado, where a judge can impose a 12 year sentence.

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