LOS LUNAS — On Wednesday. Feb. 5, Tina Craig got a phone call from her daughter, SharonAnne, who had just been in a car accident at the Conoco gas station in El Cerro.
“My daughter called me from her phone. I don’t know how she did it but I couldn’t understand her,” Tina said. “It sounded like she was drunk or something was wrong with her — she couldn’t talk.”
SharonAnne works as a special needs assistant teacher at Desert View Elementary, and is a single parent to an 11-year-old daughter. She thinks she was putting gas in her car after work when she was rear-ended by someone in a truck.
“My trunk was in the back seat of my car. The police thought [the driver] had to be going about 40 or 50 miles and didn’t stop at the stop sign,” SharonAnne said.
SharonAnne has no memory of the accident, and only knows what witnesses and law enforcement have told her.
“I don’t remember the accident at all. When I woke up at the hospital, I thought I had fallen on the playground and hit my head,” she said.
A woman who works at the propane station nearby witnessed the accident and explained to Tina what had happened.
“She was out there helping [SharonAnne], making sure she didn’t get out of her car and walk in the street because she was in the middle of the road with the car,” Tina said. “She actually got on the phone and told me what happened and let me know that they were taking her to the hospital.”
When SharonAnne was released from the hospital, she stayed with her brother until her memory started coming back.
“In the beginning, she remembered one brother but not all three,” her mother said. “Then she said she remembered one of the others.
“The doctor was concerned and said she had a severe concussion with a short-term and long-term memory problem.”
SharonAnne’s boyfriend, Jacob Garcia, was notified of the accident and met her at the hospital. He was told she was asking for him earlier but when he got there, her memory had become foggy.
“When I got there, she was really out of sorts. She couldn’t really remember me and thought it was Jan. 6, 2008, and then it got bumped up within a day and a half to 2013,” Garcia said.
When he went back to speak with the propane attendant, she said deputies with the Valencia County Sheriff’s Office had taken the surveillance footage to review it.
As far as SharonAnne’s progress, she feels like she’s steadily recovering.
“My motor skills are still a little set back and my memories are slowly coming back; I’m feeling a lot better,” SharonAnne said.
“The doctor cleared me to be home alone and to drive. I’m going to try to go back to work on Thursday, just for a couple days, to see how it goes.”
Garcia started a fundraising page on Facebook for her to help cover some of the medical expenses and to purchase a new vehicle.
“I pray for the person who hit me all the time,” SharonAnne said. “I just hope it never happens to them or someone they care about because it’s been really hard.
“Just do the right thing and check on the other person, because that person could have died or could be really hurt. Stop to check and save a life.”
According to the crash report from the Valencia County Sheriff’s Office, Craig was driving westbound on El Cerro Mission Blvd. at about 3 p.m. when she was hit from behind by a faded red pickup.
Witnesses said Craig was waiting for eastbound traffic to pass before turning into the J&A Quick Stop gas station at 90 El Cerro Mission Blvd., west of Manzano Expressway.
The pickup, described as an early 1980s model, possibly an S-10, hit Craig’s Nissan from behind, backed up, then drove around her car and continued west.
Anyone with information about the crash is asked to call the Valencia County Sheriff’s Office at 866-2400.