San Juan County, NM — On April 20, 2014, at approximately 1512 hours, San Juan County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a one vehicle roll-over. The accident occurred near the 136 mile marker on US Highway 550 (south of Bloomfield, NM).
“Prior to arrival, Deputies were informed that two intoxicated male subjects had left the scene of the accident and were on foot,” explained Sergeant Candice Montoya. “Upon arrival, deputies discovered a three month-old child, a three year-old child, a female adult and a male adult occupant still at the scene.” All occupants that remained at the scene were being treated by medical personnel.
“The adult male and female adult on-scene suffered minor injuries and both exhibited signs of intoxication,” said Montoya. All occupants, who had remained on-scene, were transported to the San Juan Regional Medical Center (SJRMC) while deputies continued to investigate the accident.
San Juan County Sheriff’s Deputies and a New Mexico State Police Officer also attempted to track the two male subjects that had fled from the scene. As the investigation continued, Deputies discovered evidence of alcohol at the scene of the crash and learned the driver of the vehicle was the father of the three month-old child. “He abandoned the child at the scene of the crash,” stated Montoya.
The driver of the vehicle was eventually identified as 28 year-old Robert Williams of Bloomfield, NM. Deputies also identified the female occupant as 25 year-old Nicole Begay of Bloomfield, NM. “We also learned that Begay is the mother of the three year-old child,” explained Montoya. “The three year-old suffered minor injuries as a result of the crash.”
The three month-old baby was air-lifted to UNM hospital in Albuquerque, NM for a head injury. The baby was later transferred to Carrie Tingley Hospital, where reports are that the baby is currently doing well.
At the time of this press release, the driver has not been located. The cause of the accident is still under investigation.
“It is despicable that people can place more value on fleeing the consequences of their actions than on the wellbeing of their family,” said Sheriff Ken Christesen. “We hope this baby has a full recovery and does not have to endure a lifetime of hardship brought by his own father.”
Williams and Begay were both charged as a result of this incident. Williams was charged with:
- Abuse of a child resulting in great bodily harm (placed in a dangerous situation) – 1st degree felony,
- Leaving the scene of an accident knowingly (death or great bodily harm) – 4th degree felony,
- 3 counts: Leaving the scene of an accident knowingly (no death or great bodily harm) – 3rd degree felony,
- Roadways Laned for Traffic Child Restraints.
Begay was arrested upon her release from SJRMC and was charged with:
- Abuse of child (placed in a dangerous situation) – 3rd degree felony.