Lapel video captures aftermath of fatal suspected DWI

Brian Leonard
Brian Leonard

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Police lapel video captured the chaotic aftermath of yet another fatal suspected DWI crash. This one happened in July in Albuquerque on the Louisiana at I-40 overpass.

The video begins as an Albuquerque Police Department officer approaches the scene.

“I have three people trapped inside a vehicle,” he yells.

Police say a truck and a sedan collided on the overpass just before midnight on the 22nd of July. Inside the sedan were a mother, father and a child. The pick-up truck driver was alone.

“It’s OK, it’s OK. You’re going to be alright baby,” a female bystander can be heard saying to the victims in the sedan.

Video captures another bystander pull the little girl free from the backseat. There’s debris all across the overpass and the sedan is mangled.

The driver of the pickup tells officers, “I had the right of way.”

But witnesses say it was the sedan that had a green left turn arrow and the pickup plowed through a red light into it.

“[The sedan driver] is making the turn, and [the pickup truck driver] is just barreling out two lanes over from me, right through that light,” a witness says.

“He didn’t make any attempt to stop at this light?” An officer asks another witness. “No,” they reply.

A criminal complaint says 28-year-old Brian Leonard smelled of alcohol and was slurring his words. At the scene, he’s put in the back of a patrol car with the windows cracked. That is, until an officer notices he’s up to something.

“What are you doing? What do you mean ‘nothing?'” the officer says, “You’re not reaching over here trying to open my door? That was a bad move dude, that was the wrong move.”

The video goes on to show the mom in the sedan at the hospital. She tells the officer she has no idea what happened.

In the video, she doesn’t yet know her life partner is dead.

“Do you know where my husband is?” she asks the officer.

Leonard was arrested and still sits in jail as of Tuesday, August 2nd. He’s being held on no bond for vehicular homicide. Blood test results are still pending, and should prove if and how intoxicated Leonard was that night.

Stricter vehicular homicide penalties just went into effect in New Mexico in July. Leonard could face up to 15 years in prison compared to the previous six year maximum.

Leonard was convicted of another DWI back in 2007.

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