EDITOR’S NOTE: This article includes information about a fatal hit-and-run in the village of Los Lunas which was provided to the News-Bulletin after our print deadline and does not appear in the Dec. 15 print edition of the paper.
Two local law enforcement agencies are investigating three different fatal hit-and-run crashes this month.
Valencia County Sheriff’s Office
The Valencia County Sheriff’s Office is asking members of the public for any information they might have about a second fatal hit-and-run crash this month.
At about 6 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 10, Martin Ortiz-Trujillo, 58, of Los Lunas, was hit and killed by a black vehicle on Van Camp Blvd. near Reino Road in Monterey Park, on the east side of Valencia County.
VCSO spokesman Detective Rashad Pearson said the office is waiting for a crash reconstruction report from New Mexico State Police with more details about the crash.
A week prior, on Saturday, Dec. 3, Earl Arellano, 54, of Casa Colorada, was hit and killed by a vehicle near the 100 block of Rio Communities Blvd. — N.M. 47. The driver of the vehicle fled the scene and evidence left behind indicates it was black in color.
The sheriff’s office is in the process of determining the make and model of both vehicles. Pearson said there is no indication the two incidents are connected.
If anyone has information about these hit-and-run incidents, contact the Valencia County Sheriff’s Office at 505-866-2400 or the Valencia Regional Emergency Communications Center at 505-865-9130.
Los Lunas Police Department
The Los Lunas Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division is actively seeking the public’s assistance to help identify and locate an off-road vehicle involved in a fatal hit-and-run crash.
LLPD officers found a man dead with significant head trauma at about 8:35 p.m., Monday, Dec. 12, on South Los Lentes Road SE, near Lopez Road on the west side of the ditch.
During the investigation, officers learned the man was hit by an off-road vehicle. Detectives are searching for the driver of the off-road vehicle, which has LED whip lights and an LED light bar. The vehicle fled the scene traveling south on Los Lentes Road SE.
The man has been positively identified, however his next of kin has not been notified and his name is not being released publicly at this time.
Anyone with information on the driver of the off-road vehicle is asked to contact the Criminal Investigations Division Case Agent Detective Sgt. DeAnda at 505-839-56465.
Anonymous tips can be submitted through the Los Lunas Police Department’s “STOP IT” app available on all smartphones. (Enter access code: loslunaspd).
Julia M. Dendinger began working at the VCNB in 2006. She covers Valencia County government, Belen Consolidated Schools and the village of Bosque Farms. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists Rio Grande chapter’s board of directors.