Skip directly to content

State Police Arrest Drunk Driver After School Bus Hit-and-Run Crash

on September 22, 2017 - 9:33am
Gabriella Uzueta
NMSP News:
ESPANOLA  Around 7:30 a.m. Sept. 20, the New Mexico State Police was notified of a hit-and-run crash in La Mesilla involving a school bus from the Espanola Public Schools.
The collision occurred on N.M. 399 near County Road 110. When officers arrived on scene they learned the school bus was occupied by eight middle school and high school students and the bus driver. No injuries were reported and the bus sustained minor damage to the rear bumper.
Through investigation officers learned the bus was stopped, with its integrated stop sign and signal lights activated, picking up students when a blue Dodge Dakota pickup rear ended the bus. The female driver of the pickup, later identified as Gabriella Uzueta, 23, of Espanola allegedly exited her vehicle and argued with the bus driver before fleeing the scene. One of the students on the bus was able to capture the pickup's license plate number on a cell phone video.
State Police notified surrounding law enforcement agencies and, around 8 a.m., an officer with the Espanola Police Department located and stopped the pickup on Valley Road in Espanola. Dispatch also informed officers the pickup had allegedly caused a second crash with another vehicle near Riverside and Fairview Drive in Espanola. The Espanola Police Department investigated the second crash.
When the State Police officer arrived at the vehicle stop on Valley Road, he spoke with Uzueta who appeared to be heavily under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Her pickup had sustained moderate damage and a flat front tire due to apparent collision damage.
The officer noted Uzueta's speech was slurred and she was having difficulty maintaining her balance. He requested she perform sobriety tests and Uzueta agreed. The results of the sobriety tests indicated Uzueta was under the influence of drugs or alcohol and unable to safely operate a vehicle.
Uzueta was placed under arrest for DWI and transported to the NMSP office in Espanola where she later refused to consent to a blood draw. Uzueta was charged with DWI; Leaving the Scene of an Accident; and No Driver's License. She was booked in the Tierra Amarilla Adult Detention Center.