18-year-old suspect charged in deadly Taos crash
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TAOS, N.M. – There’s new information on the crash that killed a Taos High School student and injured six others.
A criminal complaint lists out the charges against an 18-year-old accused of providing those crash victims with alcohol.
According to this criminal complaint, the suspect provided alcohol to a total of eight people. All of them under the age of 18 – including the very high schoolers involved in the crash.
18-year-old Haley Martinez is charged with eight counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Investigators say she hosted a party over the weekend where alcohol was served, and the seven Taos High Schoolers who crashed in this jeep had been to that party.
The driver and two others in the crash were airlifted to UNM Hospital with critical injuries, three others were treated at Holy Cross Hospital in Taos.
Deputies say when they arrived on the scene, a girl was partially ejected and later pronounced dead. That girl was 15-year-old Arry Jeantette.
A GoFundMe page was set up for the high schooler, and has raised over $13,000 to help the family.
Investigators also believe no one was wearing seatbelts, and they suspect excessive use of speed and alcohol contributed to the crash. A crash that affected so much of the Taos community.
The Taos High School principal and superintendent spoke to KOB 4 over the weekend.
“This is a tragedy that’s effected our entire community,” said CJ Grace, principal of Taos High School.
Especially those at Taos High school.
“It’s heartbreaking, it’s sad, it’s not something we take lightly. We had grief counselors available for staff, students, parents, community members, we will continue to have that support at the high school this week, and for weeks to come,” said Valeria Trujillo, interim superintended of Taos Municipal Schools.
The Taos County Sheriff’s Department made a statement saying in part:
“This is a senseless tragedy that has struck our community and it’s extremely disappointing that in this day and age, anyone would knowingly host an underage drinking party or choose to drink and drive.”
This case is ongoing and according to the Taos Sheriff’s Office, they are working closely in this investigation with the district attorney, and this case may include charges pressed against the driver as well.