‘Speeding Has A Name’: Family behind awareness campaign speaks on latest deadly crash
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Albuquerque police say Juan Ortiz-Munoz was speeding and ran a red light when he slammed into Erika Chavez’s car at Unser and Tower in 2020.
Chavez, a loving wife and mother of three children, died instantly. Her three-year-old daughter was also in the car, but was protected by her car seat.
“Her little seat belt was embedded, the little straps were embedded in her,” said Rosa Rivera, Chavez’s aunt. “They were maybe about 3-4 centimeters, just embedded.”
The crash sparked the creation of the “Speeding Has A Name” city campaign to warn residents about the dangers of speeding.
“Not only do you have your life in the hands of that steering wheel, you have the life of every single person that lives in our city,” Rivera said.
Rivera wishes the two suspects in a recent deadly crash would have considered that. Police say Andy Doreste-Saumell and Tyler Turnbull were racing northbound on Louisiana over the weekend when they both slammed into a car pulling out from a side street. Turnbull died in the crash.
Doreste-Saumell is facing several charges, including vehicular homicide and child abuse. Police say his 6-year-old son was also in the car at the time of the crash.
KOB 4 has learned the innocent driver killed was Jenna Hamilton, a nursery manager and bookkeeper at St. John’s United Methodist Church. The pastor sent out an email to the congregation earlier this week asking for prayers for her family.
In a follow-up email, he says Hamilton was joyful, helpful, faithful, and a wonderful mother. He also said it’s even more painful knowing the carelessness that led to her death.
“It’s just sickening,” Rivera said. “You know that, one, it could have been prevented, and you know that, two, from the minute the family receives that call, their life is ruined.”
Doreste-Saumell was in court Wednesday. The state is pushing to keep him in jail until his trial. A district court judge will decide on that next week.
As for the Erika Chavez case, Ortiz-Munoz pleaded not guilty to his charges, which include vehicular homicide. He’s been out of jail, and is expected to go to trial early next year.