Two men are facing multiple charges, after a night of street racing ended with a hit-and-run accident that killed a motorcyclist. Ryan Palma and Armando Alvarado are accused of rear-ending Emmanuel Hernandez Gonzalez on his motorcycle on Interstate 25 near La Cienega.
The men met up with other drivers in Santa Fe and drove to Waldo Canyon to participate in street racing. Palma and Alvarado left around midnight and got on I-25 heading north. They saw Gonzalez on his motorcycle. It is unclear whether the victim was taking part in the street racing.
The drag racing continued
After Palma and Alvarado’s car was passed by another vehicle, the men accelerated to catch up. At this point, the two vehicles were travelling about 90 mph. According to what they told the police, when they saw Gonzalez in front of the car, they braked, but hit him anyway.
Men claim they looked for Gonzalez after
Palma and Alvarado claim they called someone to pick them up on a frontage road nearby, and then tried to find the motorcycle after. They claim they could not find the motorcycle.
Gonzalez was found on the side of the road the next morning
Around 6:45 am, a passerby called the police after seeing Gonzalez’s body on the side of the road. Shortly after, police received reports of a damaged vehicle on a nearby frontage road. Palma and Alvarado returned for the car at 7:30 am and were immediately arrested.
The men are charged with vehicular homicide, leaving an accident scene, tampering with evidence failure to give aid, failure to give notice of the accident and reckless driving.
Vehicular homicide is a serious crime
In New Mexico, a driver that causes the death of someone else—by violating reckless driving laws, being on drugs or alcohol or by fleeing from the police—can be charged with vehicular homicide. To be found guilty, it must be proven a driver caused the victim’s death.
When vehicular homicide charges include reckless driving, a defendant faces a third-degree felony conviction. Guilty parties can be sentenced to up to six years in prison. Additional charges could also mean more time in jail.