The impact has claimed four young lives.
The investigation revealed 27-year-old Scott Owens was in the wrong lane of travel prior to the collision. The four victims, one male and three females were passengers in a 1992 Maroon Subaru driven by a 16 year old female. This vehicle was traveling east when it collided with a 1992 Jeep Cherokee which was traveling west in the east bound lane.
Deputies tell 770 KKOB the Subaru driver attempted evasive action by swerving to the left and crossing the center line, but was struck broadside by the Jeep Cherokee which was attempting to get back in it’s lane of travel.
The 16 year old Subaru driver was airlifted to UNMH in Albuquerque and is listed in critical condition. The Jeep Cherokee Driver Scott Owens was transported to Christus St. Vincent’s Hospital with non-life threatening minor injuries.
Alcohol use is suspected by the driver of the Jeep Cherokee and a search warrant for a blood sample was obtained. Scott Owens has been arrested and is being charged with four counts of Homicide by Motor Vehicle, One Count of Great Bodily Harm by Motor Vehicle and additional charges are pending the outcome of Owen's blood alcohol tests. He has a prior DWI arrest in June of 2001.
The victims names have just been released.
16 year old Avree Koffman – Driver listed as Critical condition at UNMH
15 year old Rose Simmons – Deceased
16 year old Julian Martinez – Deceased
16 year old Alyssa Trouw – Deceased
16 year old Kate Klein - Deceased
Sheriff Greg Solano posted a message of condolence on this Facebook page after hearing about the tragedy:
This is very sad and my heartfelt condolences go out to the families of the teens who died in the crash.
Wrong Way DWI Accidents Have Claimed Multiple Lives In New Mexico
Nearly three years ago, five members of the Gonzales family were killed by five-time DWI offender Dana Pabst after he entered the highway going the wrong way.
Arissa Garcia, 15, was the November 12, 2006 crash's sole survivor. She suffered from a broken left arm, fractured hip, and bruises to her head and chest— and from the loss of her three siblings, mother and stepfather.
The Gonzaleses were returning to their family home in Las Vegas, NM from the Gaylord Sheppard Soccer Tournament at the Bernalillo Soccer Complex when they were killed.