New Mexico State Police Investigating Fatal Drunk Driving Crash in Roosevelt County

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On Saturday morning, the New Mexico State Police responded to a fatal crash on US 70 at mile marker 430 in Roosevelt County.
 
The preliminary investigation determined a Dodge pickup was traveling southbound on US 70 at a high rate of speed. As the vehicle was traveling southbound, the truck struck from behind a Dodge Neon passenger car, also traveling southbound. The impact caused the Dodge Neon to exit the roadway and overturn. The driver of the Neon, Jose A. Saldana-Pinales (41) of Portales, NM, was ejected from the vehicle and sustained fatal injuries in the collision. He was pronounced deceased on scene.
 
After striking the Dodge Neon, the pickup overturned and exited the roadway, coming to rest in the southbound lane of US 70. The driver of the truck sustained minor injuries during the crash and refused medical treatment.
 
During the investigation, State Police officers detected an odor of alcohol emitting from truck driver’s breath and person. Officers conducted sobriety tests and the driver performed poorly, indicating he was unable to safely operate a vehicle and under the influence of alcohol. Ricardo Navarrete was arrested for DWI. A subsequent breath test found Navarrete’s breath alcohol concentration was .14 at the time of the crash.
 
State Police charged Ricardo Navarrete with homicide by vehicle. He has been booked into the Roosevelt County Detention Center. The New Mexico State Police Crash Reconstruction Unit assisted in this investigation. 
 
This crash remains under investigation with no further details available.

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