Passenger suing drunk driver after deadly crash

Jacob Jaramillo
Jacob Jaramillo

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A new lawsuit could open up a giant can of worms in a state with a terrible DWI problem. A notorious drunk driver is now being sued by his own passenger.

Jacob Jaramillo killed three young people when he sped through a red light drunk and slammed into their car. Now, one of Jaramillo’s own passengers is suing him, claiming Jaramillo caused him pain and suffering and anguish when he took him for a drunken ride.

In November 2015, a then 17-year-old Adrian Montelongo was in the car with Jaramillo when he plowed into another vehicle on a frontage road near the Big-I, killing Grace Sinfield, Sergio Mendez-Aguirre and his older brother Robert.

Montelongo claims Jaramillo, who was 23 at the time, was already drunk when he picked him up at his grandma’s house and then got into the crash.

Montelongo is now suing Jaramillo, saying he shouldn’t have been driving drunk, and that he owes him for the trauma he suffered. He also says the judge needs to send a message to drunk drivers about the pain they cause.

Jaramillo told police after the crash that he and his friends were going out to drink.

Jaramillo blew a .15 that night, almost double the legal limit.

KRQE News 13 reached out to Montelongo’s attorney to ask how a person who willingly got into a vehicle with a drunk driver can sue, but did not receive a response.

Motelongo was in a neck brace after the crash. It’s not clear if he was seriously injured, but his neck appears to be fine in all his latest Facebook posts.

Jaramillo pleaded guilty to the crash last year and was sentenced to 16 years in prison. 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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