Albuquerque police video shows fatal crash suspect deny involvement

Ofimiano Herrera
Ofimiano Herrera

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – We’re seeing the start and aftermath of Sunday’s deadly car crash as police officers saw it. Lapel video released Wednesday shows what happened when Ofimiano Herrera fled from police and lost control of his car slamming into an SUV.

Herrera, 28, was arrested Sunday afternoon following a crash at Coors and Quail. Herrera is accused of plowing a car he was driving into a family’s car at a stop light near Coors and I-40.

The video shows Herrera speeding away from police, then later denying over and over again that he had anything to do with the crash. However, multiple witnesses were there to tell police otherwise.

From the moment police caught up with him, Herrera was telling stories.

“Alex, tell him I wasn’t in a car!” screamed Herrera to his girlfriend who was waiting for him at a nearby gas station.

When questioned by police, Herrera was defiant about any role in the crash.

“Where were you walking from?” asked an Albuquerque Police officer Cody Holmes.

“We were just walking from Walgreens, er.. f—ing Walmart!” stammered Herrera in reply.

However, officials from the Albuquerque Police Department says that’s just not true. The white Nissan that was involved in the wreck was first spotted on I-40 westbound near the Coors exit.

An APD officer tried to pull the car over for speeding, but as the officer was getting out of his patrol car, video shows the driver taking off.

“Was almost out of sight before the officer even had a chance to put his car in drive,” said Officer Tanner Tixier, a spokesman for APD.

The officer went up the Coors frontage road exit, trying to keep his eyes on the car.

“My vehicle took off, it is southbound, actually northbound Coors, coming up to Quail,” said the officer.

However, video shows Jury lost sight of the car, and even took a different exit. Moments later, the crash was called out on the radio.

“…just 45’ed out at Coors and Quail, uh.. got a vehicle rollover,” said another officer over the police radio.

“At no point was he even close enough to initiate or engage in a pursuit,” said officer Tixier.

Officers heard the driver got out and ran, then found Herrera on foot nearby at a gas station.

“Why are you running?” asked APD officer Cody Holmes.

Herrera denied doing anything wrong. In the police body camera video, Herrera’s shadow can be seen nodding left and right to signify “no.”

“Are you the one that wrecked the car? Be honest with me, you the one that wrecked the car?” asked officer Holmes.

Herrera’s girlfriend, who was at a nearby gas station, even tried to vouch for him.

“He wasn’t in a car,” said Herrera’s girlfriend.

“I haven’t been in a car, we were just pan-handling together!” said Herrera.

Ultimately though, witnesses were the ones who nailed Herrera, one man walking over to him and the officer after hearing what he thought were lies.

“He’s the one that got out of the car,” said the first witness.

“You’re positive that he’s the one that got out of the car?” replied officer Holmes.

“This is the one who bailed out of the car,” a man told an APD officer. “You’re positive he’s the one who bailed out of the car?” the officer verified.

“I was getting off the freeway. He was going about 100,” another man said.

APD says Herrera is the only one to blame.

“Had he just stayed with the traffic stop and not run recklessly and violently, this family wouldn’t be burying a father and a grandfather and it’s tragic,” said officer Tixier.

Herrera is behind bars, charged with vehicular homicide. Police also believe he was driving drunk.

Oscar Almeida Sr. was killed in the crash. Almeida’s wife is in the hospital with life threatening injuries. His son and son’s girlfriend also suffered serious injuries.

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