Off-road group hosts fundraiser for family after deadly hit-and-run crash

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Countless people have shared and commented on posts this week about Sunday’s deadly hit-and-run crash, as police still search for the person who killed seven-year-old Pronoy Bhattacharya.

As the memorial at Central and Tingley grows, Bhattacharya’s face remains on the minds of so many New Mexicans.

"It was horrific. I mean, I can only imagine how the family felt,” said Michaelangelo Ordonez.

Ordonez helped create the group Clika NM Off-Road, which organizes fundraisers and rides. He said he was horrified to learn an off-highway vehicle was responsible for Sunday night’s crash.

"We don’t want a person like this in our community. And we don’t want people to see the off-road community as reckless,” said Ordonez.

Police said earlier this week that these types of vehicles were on their radar, especially in the southwest and valley areas.

Commanders were recently told to start towing and citing them, but Ordonez said he hasn’t seen that happen yet.

"We’ve driven past officers and I mean we’ve driven right next to them and you know as long as we’re following the laws stopping when we need to stop, of course having the turn signals, we haven’t had any problems with them."

Ordonez said the crash has really impacted the off-roading community, so his group is hosting a fundraiser at the Paleta Bar on Southern and Unser this weekend.

"People you know they are seeing it now as reckless and so we wanna let them know– the community and the family know– that we’re behind them one hundred percent."

They want to show the community that they want justice, as much as anyone else.

"The person that was driving and operating that vehicle is the one that should be responsible and should be taking the backlash,” said Ordonez.

The group will collect cash donations for the family on Sunday, and the Paleta Bar will donate 20% of its earnings.

KOB 4 did reach out to APD about those claims that as long as the off-roaders follow the rules they basically get a pass, even though there’s no ordinance that allows these off-road vehicles on the streets.