ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Albuquerque Police say a drunk driver killed a bicyclist, who is a prominent Albuquerque figure, in the Tanoan gated community Sunday afternoon.
Around 1 p.m. Sunday, police responded to a vehicle crash involving a bicyclist near the intersection of Tanoan Drive and Cypress Point Way.
Witnesses at the scene said they saw the suspect vehicle driving erratically in the gated neighborhood, before it struck the bicyclist.
The victim Reed “Bart” Rutledge, 59, was transported to a local hospital, where he later died. Rutledge is known for his home building in the Albuquerque area.
A family friend said Rutledge was out on his bike, rehabilitating from a knee surgery.
“It appears Mr. Rutledge never had a chance,” APD’s Simon Drobik said
Coulter Cook, 25, was arrested Sunday evening after refusing to give a breath test at the scene of the crash, Drobik said. Police are confident that Cook was driving drunk.
A passenger in the suspect vehicle could also face charges if he or she knew Cook was driving under the influence of alcohol or encouraged it.
As Cook was brought into custody Sunday afternoon, KRQE News 13 asked him if he was drunk at the time of the accident. He replied, “No ma”am.”
He did not answer when asked about what he has to say to the victim’s family.
Drobik said Cook never applied the brakes before hitting Rutledge, and that Rutledge was dragged some distance.
“[Cook] decided to drive drunk,” Drobik said. “It was his irresponsible actions that killed this other individual, Mr. Rutledge in a horrific way, a totally horrific way. This never should have happened.”
Cook has been charged with vehicular homicide.