Deputy Involved In Crash With Suspected Drunk Driver Thursday

by Reporter / Oct 26, 2018 / 0 comments
Rio Arriba County Sheriff’s Office Patrol Unit 10

Deputy Involved In Crash With Suspected Drunk Driver Thursday

The Rio Arriba Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that a senior member of the Sheriff’s Office was involved in a crash with a suspected drunk driver on the evening of Thursday October 25, 2018.

On Thursday October 25, 2018 around 7:30 p.m., the Rio Arriba Regional Dispatch received calls from the deputy advising he had been struck by a vehicle while northbound on US Highway 84.

Rio Arriba Sheriff’s Captain Billy Merrifield was north bound on US Highway 84 near the 200-mile marker when he saw a vehicle approaching the roadway from a driveway. Merrifield determined the vehicle was about to enter the roadway and took evasive action, entering the south bound lane of traffic, where his marked Sheriff’s unit was struck on the passenger side. The collision caused the passenger rear tire to be torn away from the 2014 Dodge Durango driven by Merrifield and cause it to lose control and go off the roadway, where the Dodge SUV caught soft soil, rolling an unknown number of times and landing on its roof. The vehicle that struck Merrifield continued across the roadway coming to a halt on the shoulder of US Highway 84.

The driver of the black SUV that struck was unharmed in the collision, Merrifield sustained minor injuries and was transported by EMS to the Espanola Hospital as a precautionary measure. Injuries to Merrifield were reduced greatly due to the use of seatbelts and the deployment of the vehicle’s airbags.

At this time there are indications that drugs or alcohol were a factor in the crash, New Mexico State Police took over the crash investigation and arrested the driver of the SUV on suspicion of Driving While Under the Influence.


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