UPDATE (2:40 p.m., 9/21/21): The vehicle believed to be involved in the hit-and-run of a Los Lunas Middle School student last Thursday has been located.
Valencia County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Joseph Rowland said a property owner near Sandhill Road in Tomé called the department on Saturday, Sept. 18, to report a silver-colored Dodge Durango had been abandoned on their property. That was the same type of vehicle which struck the 12-year-old student at a bus stop on High Mesa Road in Meadow Lake.
“It didn’t belong to the property owner and there had been an attempt to conceal it,” Rowland said. “We seized it and are processing it. The incident is still under investigation.”
The vehicle was reported stolen at about 2 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 16, the same day as the hit-and-run, he said.
MEADOW LAKE — At 6:46 a.m. Thursday morning, a seventh-grade Los Lunas Middle School student, who was at a bus stop on High Mesa Road in Meadow Lake, was struck by a vehicle in a hit-and-run incident.
The Valencia County Sheriff’s Office is asking for any information the public may have as they continue to investigate the crash and locate the offender.
“The suspect vehicle was traveling eastbound on High Mesa when it appears to have left the roadway and struck the juvenile, but it was more of a glancing blow, so along the side of the vehicle if you will,” said Valencia County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Joseph Rowland.
The vehicle continued on High Mesa Road past the school bus, which was able to capture a photo of the vehicle, identifying it as a silver-colored Dodge Durango.
The student, 12, was transported to an Albuquerque hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Los Lunas Schools Superintendent Arsenio Romero said the student was awake, alert and able to communicate following the incident. The student’s parents, along with school staff are with her at the hospital while the district waits for an update on her condition.
“It’s important to us to have a safe environment, not only at school, but it really is from bus stop to bus stop, and just to make sure that you are aware of your surroundings,” Romero said. “It’s always great to be able to walk with a group of your peers to bus stops and to your home and to make sure that you are aware of your surroundings.”
Los Lunas Middle School Principal Lawrence Sosa sent a letter to parents, informing them of the incident, and that counselors and social workers would be available to support any students who may have witnessed the hit and run.
Anybody with information about the suspect or vehicle involved is asked to contact the Valencia County Sheriff’s Office at 505-866-2400.
Makayla Grijalva was born and raised in Las Cruces. She is a 2020 graduate of The University of New Mexico, where she studied multimedia journalism, political science and history. She covers the village of Los Lunas, Los Lunas Schools, SODA and the town of Peralta.