Updated: November 23, 2021 05:56 PM
Created: November 23, 2021 05:53 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Kevin Barton was picking up dinner Saturday night when an alleged drunk driver crashed into his car, killing him. Otis and two other dogs were in the car.
Otis got away from the crash site, and since then, the family has pleaded with the community to return their four-legged family member. This morning, a PNM meter reader found Otis and alerted the family through social media.
"Kevin, Kevin, Kevin made this happen," said Melanie Garcia, Kevin's wife. "He's going to be there for all of us to take care of us."
Otis and the other two dogs are at the animal hospital. Otis may need surgery for a broken leg. While the family is happy to have Otis back, they are still grieving the loss of Kevin.
"I just don't know what to do," said Cathy Barton, Kevin's mother. "Now who's going to take care of us, it's not supposed to be this way. He's supposed to put us away, not us put kids away, that's what hurts the most. That's what hurts the most."
"He had a great career ahead of him, he was wiped out by someone who had no regard for life," said Ray Barton, Kevin's father.
According to police, 19-year-old Casino Salazar was speeding down Montgomery when he crashed into Kevin's vehicle.
Police said Salazar was slurring his speech and had bloodshot eyes when they interviewed him, but he denied consuming alcohol and driving the vehicle.
Officers found several containers of liquor – as well as firearms and marijuana – in his vehicle after the crash.
The crash happened just a few blocks from Kevin's home.
Salazar is now facing multiple charges, including homicide by vehicle. Last Tuesday, Salazar was arrested in Roswell for causing another car crash. Police believe alcohol was also a factor in that crash.
Click on the video at the top of this page to watch the emotional reunion.
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