18 Year Old Española Man Charged In Fatal Pojoaque Crash

by Staff Reporter / Nov 06, 2017 / comments
Mug shot of Elias Arellano, courtesy Santa Fe County Sheriff

18 Year Old Española Man Charged In Fatal Pojoaque Crash

BY MAIRE O'NEILL, LA Daily Post

Elias Arellano, 18, of Española has been charged with homicide by vehicle (reckless driving), great bodily harm by vehicle, great bodily injury by vehicle and abuse of a child resulting in great bodily harm (intentional or recklessly) in Santa Fe Magistrate Court.

Arellano was the driver of a Chrysler Sebring that allegedly caused a three-vehicle accident Oct. 13 on U.S. 84/285 near Buffalo Thunder Resort and Casino that resulted in the death of Lucy Fresques, 71, who was transported to St. Vincent’s Regional Hospital where she died. Santa Fe County Sheriff’s deputies believe high speed and careless driving were factors in the accident.

Fresques and her husband, Robert Fresques were travelling south in their Honda Acura when Arellano’s vehicle crossed the median and struck their vehicle head-on. Robert Fresques suffered a broken left tibia and fibula, broken ribs, a chest injury and a fracture in the left forearm.

Arellano and a 13-year-old relative who was a passenger, Greg Naranjo, were ejected from the vehicle because they were not wearing seatbelts and the top of the convertible was down. Arellano was treated at Christus St. Vincent and Naranjo was airlifted to UNM.

Two people traveling in a Volkswagen Jetta also involved in the crash were treated for minor injuries. The accident caused traffic to be diverted to frontage roads near Pojoaque and resulted in hours of delays for people traveling in both directions.

The criminal complaint was filed Thursday in Magistrate Court, but no hearing date has been set. Online court records indicate that Arellano has had other driving-related criminal charges filed against him this year including a May 3 charge of speeding at 11 to 15 miles over the limit, a Sept. 24 charge of careless driving and a Sept. 27 charge of no seat belt.

An arrest warrant was issued for Arellano Nov. 2 and returned today. Magistrate Judge George Anaya, Jr. ordered Arellano held with no bond.