The young man killed in Saturday morning’s crash on Bataan Memorial West has been identified as 18-year-old Luis Alberto Mendez while the driver of the second vehicle is charged with multiple felonies including vehicular homicide.
Adolfo Angel Gurrola-Romero, 22, of Mesquite, N.M., is charged with third-degree felony counts of vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of an accident that caused death. He also faces misdemeanor charges of aggravated driving under the influence, reckless driving and failing to give immediate notice of an accident.
The crash occurred about 4 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 8, on Bataan Memorial West near Tayvis Road. Las Cruces police investigators learned that a Dona Ana County Sheriff’s Office deputy was the first to respond and attempted to render aid to the driver of a 2002 Pontiac Grand Am. The vehicle was fully engulfed in fire which prevented the deputy from rendering aid.
The deputy learned the driver of the second vehicle, a black 2010 Chevrolet Camaro, fled the crash and was seen running west on Bataan Memorial toward Sonoma Ranch Boulevard. Shortly after, Central Dispatch received a call of a suspicious man at the Carl’s Jr. restaurant at 3965 Bataan Memorial West. The man, who had visible injuries and was not wearing shoes, was identified as Adolfo Angel Gurrola-Romero. He was taken into custody for questioning.
Las Cruces police investigators learned Gurrola-Romero was driving the Camaro that caused the crash. Investigators learned he was under the influence of alcohol and was likely traveling in excess of 120 miles per hour at the time of the crash. The speed limit along Bataan Memorial West is 35 MPH.
Mendez was the driver and sole occupant of the Grand Am. He was pronounced dead on scene. The crash forced the closure of a portion of Bataan Memorial West until Saturday afternoon.
Police are continuing to investigate the crash and circumstances that led to it. Anyone with information is asked to call police at (575) 526-0795.
Gurrola-Romero was booked into the Dona Ana County Detention Center where he’s initially being held without bond.