A sixteen year old girl has been charged with vehicular homicide and other charges and might be charged with DUI after a head on crash that killed two and injured one seriously.

The crash that occurred near Hatch close to Las Cruzes involved Vanessa Rodriguez who has been charged with negligent child abuse as well as others. This means that she will be tried as an adult. Two people – Elida Garcia, 32, and Sonia Rodriguez, 16, – died in the crash that also left Maria Granados, 50, severely injured.

Accident Details

According to reports the accident occurred when the 2003 GMC pickup Vanessa Rodriguez was driving on Canal Road toward her home in Salem hit a 2002 Hyundai Sonata. Sonia Rodriguez was partially crushed by the pickup when she was ejected as the pickup rolled. The Hyundai came to a rest in a field trapping Garcia and her passenger. Garcia died when rescuers were attempting to free her from the vehicle. Granados has been airlifted to a hospital. Vanessa Rodriguez and a 13-year-old boy cousin of Sonia Rodriguez sustained minor injuries in the crash.

Drunk Driving Suspected

Vanessa Rodriguez had reportedly told the police that the two girls had been drinking after school. She did not have a driver’s license or permission to drive her parent’s truck. She has also claimed that Sonia grabbed the steering wheel of the pickup and sent it into the oncoming lane making it hit Garcia’s car. According to reports the two girls had been arguing a few minutes before the crash as Vanessa wanted to return to school to complete an assignment and Sonia wanted to return home.

Sonia probably jerked the wheel since she wanted to turn around. Either way, it does not appear she was focusing on school by her actions. Perhaps she felt guilty about ditching school and wanted to return and did not think about her actions when she grabbed the steering wheel from an awkward position.

Investigations On

Police deputies reported that they could smell alcohol on Vanessa at the accident site. Her blood sample has been taken for an alcohol test and if positive she will also be charged with consuming alcohol as a minor.

Hopefully these 2 girls do not decide to drive like Venessa and Sonia did.

Drunk Driving Laws

Most states have strict drunk driving laws. Additionally, when a minor has been driving while intoxicated the penalties can be more severe. If you or a loved one faces drunk driving charges in New Mexico you need to immediately retain the services of a DUI attorney or lawyer who can advise you on your rights.

When a drunk driving accident leads to death and injuries then the person accused of drunk driving faces vehicular homicide charges as well. In addition, when children are endangered by a drunk driver, the penalties can be greater.


A drunk driving lawyer in Las Cruzes, New Mexico, will examine the details if the accident and identify any mitigating circumstances that can help reduce the charges and penalties. The lawyer will examine the accident records to determine if more than one person was at fault for the accident, if there is actual proof that the driver was drunk at the time of the accident by looking at the blood alcohol levels, and so on. This will ensure that the defendant’s legal rights are protected.