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Las Cruces Driver in Highway 70 Crash Charged with DWI, Child Abuse

Feb 13, 2018

A Las Cruces man has been charged with DWI and child abuse after a Sunday evening single-vehicle rollover crash on Highway 70.

Christian Echavarria-Martinez, 29 of the 500 block of Villamora, is charged with one count of negligent child abuse, a third-degree felony, and a misdemeanor count of driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs.

At about 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 11, Las Cruces police were dispatched to a rollover crash involving a white Honda Civic on Highway 70 at Hollman Road. Echavarria-Martinez, the driver of the vehicle, and a 13-year-old passenger were injured in the crash and both were transported to Mountainview Regional Medical Center.

Their injuries were not life-threatening.

At the scene of the crash officers observed several cans of beer. Officers also detected a strong odor of alcohol emitting from Echavarria-Martinez before he was transported to the hospital.

Investigators learned that Echavarria-Martinez left work at about 5 p.m. and was driving east on Highway 70 with his 13-year-old nephew as a passenger. Echavarria-Martinez is suspected of drinking beer prior to exiting the highway and purchasing more alcohol at the Pic Quik store on Sonoma Ranch Boulevard. He’s also suspected of drinking beer as he continued driving east on Highway 70.

As the Honda Civic approached Hollman Road, Echavarria-Martinez took the exit but somehow lost control of the vehicle. It’s believed he overcorrected, causing the vehicle to roll three times before coming to a rest on its roof.

Echavarria-Martinez was hospitalized and, therefore, not booked into the detention center. It’s likely he’ll receive a criminal summons to appear in court.

Information from Las Cruces Police