Following fatal crash, Taos teen charged with providing alcohol to minors

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — At about 1:40 a.m. Sunday, Taos County deputies were dispatched to a single-vehicle rollover near Los Cordovas Road south of Taos.

When deputies arrived, they found a silver Jeep Patriot on its roof. They said there were seven teenagers involved in the crash.

The driver and two other teens were airlifted to UNM Hospital in critical condition. Three others were treated at Holy Cross Hospital. One teen, a Taos High School student, was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to the Taos County Sheriff’s Office, speed and alcohol appear to be factors in the crash.

“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,” Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe said in a release.

18-year-old Haley Martinez of Taos has been charged with eight counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor after allegedly supplying the underage teens with alcohol at a party she hosted.

Martinez was in court Monday. A judge released her on bond, with conditions. Her next court date is next Thursday.

In a statement, Taos Municipal School Interim Superintendent, Valerie Trujillo said:

Our hearts are broken as we come together to help our students, parents, and staff recover from this weekend’s tragic accident. As we send our thoughts, prayers, and condolences to the families of the student we lost and to the students who were seriously injured, we will make every effort to provide support services for our students and staff who need grief counseling throughout this week. 

Through our tears, we as a community will work to grow stronger as a result of this incredible tragedy. Our amazing school community has come together to support each other as we struggle to come to terms with this tragedy. My pride in this community grows each day as I see the unwavering support shared by Taos Municipal Schools students, parents, and staff. 

The District will continue to work with law enforcement to fully investigate this tragedy. During the investigation, the District will also continue to maintain student privacy as required by law. Thus, we ask that you direct any media requests to our law enforcement partners.

As students and staff attend school at Taos High School this week, counseling services will be available for anyone needing assistance. Please contact the School District Office at (575) 758-5200 or contact Taos High School’s principal’s office at 575-758-8000 for additional support. 

If you or your student has any information to assist with the investigation, please immediately report your concerns to the Taos Sheriff’s Department. 

Thank you to the entire Taos community for your continued support. Now more than ever: Together we are Taos Strong.”