San Juan County, NM – On 11/18/2011 at approximately 1925 hours, San Juan County deputies were called to the scene of a head on collision near mile marker 124 on US Highway 550.
A 1982 Chevy Van driven by Howard Haceesa Jr (age 36) of Nageezi was heading south on Highway 550 when it crossed over into northbound traffic. It then collided with a 2002 Isuzu SUV driven by Circia Fernandez-Lopez.
Haceesa was not alone in the van. His front passenger was a Galvin Dennison who was air lifted from the scene, his condition is unknown at this time. The rear passenger was a Clifford Commanche (42 years old) who was pronounced dead at the scene.
There were also several passengers in the Isuzu SUV struck by Haceesa. This vehicle was carrying seven people in it at the time it was struck. The front passenger is a Natalia Fernandez (50 years old) who was pronounced dead at the scene.
There were 4 smaller children in the second row seat along with an adult female named Gloria Pedregon. Two kids were double buckled in one seat. Gloria also had a child on her lap that was seat belted in with her. Two of the children were air lifted to San Juan Regional Medical Center and due to their injuries they were later flown to Albuquerque for treatment. The extent of their injuries is unknown at this time.
Haceesa was arrested and charged with: Two counts Vehicular Homicide by DWI (3 degree felony); Seven counts of Great Bodily Injury by DWI (3 degree felony); Felony DWI for 5th DWI (4 degree felony) and several misdemeanor charges. He was booked into the San Juan County Detention Center.