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Driver Charged in Feb. 2 Fatal Crash on Spruce 2019

The driver suspected of causing the Feb. 2 crash on Spruce Avenue that killed a 26-year-old woman has been indicted on a felony count of vehicular homicide.

Michael Nathan Trujillo, 27, of the 1800 block of Anita Drive, is charged with one count of homicide by vehicle and one count of causing great bodily injury by vehicle. Both counts are third-degree felonies. He’s also charged with reckless driving, speeding, running a red light and not properly using a seat belt.

The crash occurred about 2:15 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 2, and resulted in the death of 26-year-old Naomi Brandi Flores of Las Cruces. Preliminary information from the investigation indicates that Flores was a backseat passenger in a 1995 Chevrolet pickup that was traveling north along Walnut Street. All indications point that the Chevy pickup had a green light at Spruce and was continuing north through the intersection where Walnut turns into Kilmer Street.

Las Cruces police investigators believe a 2012 Ford pickup, driven by Trujillo, was traveling east on Spruce at a high-rate of speed and failed to stop at the red light. The Ford pickup struck the rear quarter panel of the Chevy pickup at the intersection.

Investigators determined that Trujillo’s pickup was traveling approximately 80 miles per hour when it entered the intersection of Spruce and Walnut Street. The speed limit in that area of Spruce Avenue is 35 miles per hour. The vehicle’s speed was confirmed by a CDR, the Crash Data Retrieval device, used to collect data from most modern vehicles. The device also confirmed that Trujillo was not wearing a seat belt.

Flores and the driver of the Chevy pickup were both ejected from the vehicle. Traffic investigators believe Flores and the driver of the Chevy pickup were not wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash. Flores was critically injured and rushed to a local hospital where she succumbed to her injuries. Trujillo was not seriously injured and refused medical attention. A 24-year-old woman who was also a passenger in the Chevy pickup was not seriously injured.

The case was presented to a grand jury on April 11 and the indictment was handed down the same day. A criminal summons has been issued for Trujillo to appear in court.