Belen girl injured in crash gets warm welcome home

BELEN, NM (KRQE) – The eleven-year-old girl who was badly injured and lost her father in a crash with a suspected drunk driver is getting a warm welcome at home.

In late January New Mexico State Police say 27-year-old Jacob Williams drove drunk and crossed the center line, hitting and killing Magen’s dad, Daniel Sanchez. Magen was on the back of his motorcycle. She suffered a severely broken leg. Williams has already served prison time for driving drunk and killing a motorcyclist in 2006.

Magen Sanchez was released from the hospital Friday. She was greeted in Belen by a parade.

Saturday morning the boys basketball team from La Merced Elementary greeted Magen with cheering, a card, balloons, and several handmade anti-DWI posters.

The team’s coach said it was the players’ idea to dedicate their undefeated season to her as they played Magen’s school, Gil Sanchez Elementary.

Magen’s mother, Naeomi Sanchez, told News 13 she is so grateful for the outpouring of support.

“They’ll at least have something to cling onto and some good memories out of all this ugliness,” Naeomi said of her three children.

Naeomi said it could be weeks before her daughter returns to school at Gil Sanchez Elementary.

Williams faces vehicular homicide and other charges. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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