ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A family of three and an officer are still in the hospital on Tuesday night after a serious crash in northeast Albuquerque.
At last check, a mother and her two kids are in critical but stable condition, according to the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department.
Albuquerque Police say the officer had two surgeries on Tuesday after breaking a leg and ankle.
“Horror… Just horrific,” said Ray Peterek, owner of nearby Tranco Transmissions.
“I heard all the sirens,” said Alisha Benitez, who had been driving by the area on Monday night.
The community is reacting after an Albuquerque police officer responding to a 911 call went through the intersection of Eubank and Indian School on Monday at about 6:09 p.m., hitting another car that was making a left turn.
The crash sent the car with a mother and two children, spinning into a pole.
“I just want everyone to be okay. It’s really scary, really sad,” said Benitez.
Mike Lenz was just two cars ahead of the officer.
He said he saw the police lights in his rearview mirror one moment.
“Just a second later, they were gone. I heard a really loud bang,” Lenz said. “The cruiser turned completely sideways, was sliding, tire smoke, squealing tires.”
Police said the officer had lights and sirens on.
In that case, official APD policy states officers do have the right of way but that they also still have a duty to drive with “due regard for the safety of all persons.”
On KRQE News 13’s Facebook page, some are questioning how fast the officer was going.
One person wrote, “I’m sure if that officer had been paying attention, he would have slowed down when he noticed the potential for a driver to turn in front of him.”
However, another commented that the “driver should have stopped when she heard sirens. Plain and simple.”
Lenz came away from it with a different perspective.
“I think it was just unfortunately a bad accident, and it wasn’t anyone doing anything they shouldn’t have been doing,” he said.
The Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department, which is heading up this crash investigation, is not releasing any additional information on Tuesday, including how old the children involved are.
APD said the officer is a veteran with the department.
The officer had been on his way to respond to a call of a man threatening people with a machete at an Albertson’s a few blocks north of the crash.