Suspected drunk driver still not charged in Uber crash that killed couple
August 29, 2019 10:21 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- A suspected drunk driver who police say killed two people when he crashed into their Uber ride has not spent a single day in jail.
The crash happened in May, and police cleared the case in June. However, the 19-year-old suspected drunk driver has still not been charged with a crime despite recommendations from police.
Robbie Gallegos and his girlfriend Kristina Martinez were killed in the crash.
“I love him-- we all do,” said Robbie’s sister Kristina Gallegos. “He did everything he was supposed to – being responsible, wore a seatbelt, took an Uber. He wanted to have fun but he knew he had to do it responsibly, and still this happened.”
Police said Joseph Urvanejo, 19, was driving the other car while intoxicated.
Police recommended that he be charged with two counts of vehicular homicide. However, Urvanejo has not been charged. He has not spent a day in jail and is still allowed to drive.
The 4 Investigates team asked the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s office about the case and why there has been no movement. A spokesperson said they didn’t want to talk about the case because it is slated to be heard by a grand jury. It’s possible an indictment could be coming.
The evidence itself is damning. For weeks, the 4 Investigates team gathered records, documents and video to gain a better understanding of what led up to the deadly crash.
Just minutes before the crash, Urvanejo’s friends called 911 to report his dangerous behavior.
“Hello, hello, hello-- my friend is a little bit drunk and I think he’s going to do something scary. I think he’s going to kill himself or something,” one of Urvanejo’s friends told a 911 dispatcher
“Oh my God, he’s leaving," the caller said. "I don’t know what to do! I don’t know what to do!”
Nine minutes after the 911 call was made, traffic cameras captured the horrific crash.
Police body camera footage shows the Uber driver overcome with emotion while being interviewed by police.
“I’m freaking out because – did I just do that? Was that a misjudgment on my part,” the Uber driver asks police.
The officer tried to calm the Uber driver.
“That’s what we’re going to figure out. We’re going to determine speeds on that vehicle. We’re going to do a bunch of investigations and that’s going to take a while,” the officer said.
The police investigation ultimately laid blame Urvanejo, not the Uber driver.
Urvanejo suffered minor injuries. According to police, his blood-alcohol level was 0.13, which is well above the legal limit for adults.
A reconstruction of the scene found Urvanejo was driving at about 70 MPH, about double the speed limit, when the crash occurred.
The district attorney’s office has not provided a timeline for Grand Jury review.
The estate of one of the victims recently filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Urvanejo.
Attempts to reach Urvanejo for comment were unsuccessful.
Updated: August 29, 2019 10:21 PM
Created: August 29, 2019 05:02 PM
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