Albuquerque police involved in hundreds of officer-involved crashes | KOB 4

Albuquerque police involved in hundreds of officer-involved crashes

Patrick Hayes
Created: December 10, 2020 10:16 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Albuquerque police have been involved in more than 500 car crashes since January 2019, according to a spokesperson with APD. 

Out of the 506 crashes, 262 were preventable, according to the department.

APD denied KOB 4’s request for an interview but sent a statement that said: “APD officers receive performance training to help avoid crashes. Last October we announced that the department was working with Performance Driving School to train officers who have been in crashes.”

Meanwhile, a new lawsuit filed this week accused an APD employee of running a red light call and causing a crash that killed an 85-year-old woman. 

According to the lawsuit, “On April 21, 2020, Mary Ann Kirchgessner was driving east on Candelaria Road and, with a green light, entered its intersection with Juan Tabo when defendant... acting within the scopes of his duties as a public employee with the Albuquerque Police Department drive and Albuquerque Police Department Vehicle South on Juan Tabo in a negligent manner and ran the red light, striking Mrs. Kirchgessner’s vehicle and causing her death.”

However, a spokesperson with New Mexico State Police told KOB 4 the investigation showed the police service aide was not to blame. 

When asked about the incident, a spokesperson with NMSP sent the following information: 

“The initial investigation indicated that the Toyota, driven by Mary Kirchgessner, 85, of Albuquerque, NM, was traveling east on Candelaria approaching the intersection of Juan Tabo.  For unknown reasons the Toyota drove through a red light and was struck by the Ford, which was traveling south on Juan Tabo with a green light and the right of way to proceeded through the intersection of Juan Tabo and Candelaria.

Ms. Kirchgessner suffered fatal injuries in the crash and was pronounced deceased at a local hospital by the Office of the Medical Investigator.  The driver and passenger in the Ford were transported for their injuries.  Their conditions are not known.  NMSP does not identify crash victims who are not charged with a crime.”

It remains unclear if the officers involved in crashes faced any kind of disciplinary action, including the undercover officer who was involved in the ART bus crash in 2019 who was found to be at fault. 

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