ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Police were on the scene of a fatal crash late Friday night.
Officers arrived to two vehicles upside down on the shoulder of southbound I-25 just south of Montano.
APD said a pair of street racers using I-25 like a drag strip are to blame for a 10-year-old girl’s death. Police said one caused the crash while the other kept going.
APD said it’s been a problem for a long time in Albuquerque, and while law enforcement is doing its best to battle street racing crashes like the deadly one that happened overnight Friday keep happening.
“Someone driving like an idiot because they think they’re cool drag racing,” said Ofc. Simon Drobik, Albuquerque Police Department. “Numerous people told us these two guys were in excess of 100 miles an hour.”
Witnesses saw a white car weaving in and out of traffic racing a dark-colored mustang on I-25 Southbound near Montano. That’s when the white car, driven by a 22-year-old Los Alamos man, Xavier Nelson.
“Rear-ended a van with a family in it,” said Drobik. “Both vehicles flipped.”
A 10-year-old girl in the van was ejected and she was pronounced dead on the scene.
“Could have absolutely been stopped because they shouldn’t have been drag racing on the freeway,” said Drobik.
The girl’s three other family members in the van were also taken to the hospital with none life threatening injuries. Nelson was also checked out.
“I believe he [Nelson] was transported too, but he was eventually booked this morning into MDC,” said Drobik.
Now Nelson is behind bars at MDC for vehicular homicide and drug possession, for having pills that didn’t belong to him.
“We have Montgomery tact plan for street racing, Paseo tact plan for street racing, and down in the Valley area command,” said Drobik.
In those areas, they dedicate officers to target traffic.
“Looking for those drivers that are in excessive speed and ticketing them,” said Drobik.
However, APD said the reality is, policing street racers is tough.
“We can’t police traffic all the time,” said Drobik
Police said it isn’t clear whether Nelson knew the driver of the Mustang he was racing. Police are trying to identify that other driver.
Investigators tell KRQE News 13 there’s no indication Nelson was intoxicated at the time. If he had been driving while impaired, he would be facing a lot more prison time.