Wrecked County Truck

This pickup driven by Rio Arriba County Senior Center employee Kenny Jaramillo on Jan. 20 was backed into a pillar holding up the porch of the YDI building in El Rito. A witness to the crash tried to get Jaramillo's attention by banging on his window but the witness said Jaramillo was passed out.

    A Rio Arriba County Senior Services meal delivery driver is in hot water after allegedly being intoxicated and crashing about 4 p.m., Jan. 20 into the front porch of the Youth Development Inc. building in El Rito.

    John Ussery, an instructor at Northern New Mexico College, made the initial E-911 call. He reported a white Chevrolet pickup had backed into the supporting pillar of the front porch of the YDI building.

    Rio Arriba County Sheriff’s Sgt. Craig Yazzie responded to the call and interviewed Ussery, who told him he immediately recognized the driver as Kenny Jaramillo, a Rio Arriba County Senior Services employee.

    Ussery said he saw Jaramillo passed out in the driver’s seat and he banged on Jaramillo’s window for quite a while as the vehicle rocked back and forth, spinning its rear tires pushing the truck against the pillar. Ussery surmised Jaramillo’s foot was stuck on the gas pedal while he was passed out.

    Jaramillo awakened and drove forward, causing more damage to the truck and building. He sat inside the truck for a few minutes and then, “An unidentified vehicle rapidly drove in and loaded (Jaramillo) and sped off before deputies arrived on scene.”

    Ussery gave Yazzie the vehicle’s description and direction of travel and Deputy Jerry Albo tried to catch up with it but was unsuccessful.

    Rio Arriba County Manager Tomas Campos said Monday he was going to fire Jaramillo but he resigned before that happened. Jaramillo allegedly claimed he had low blood sugar.

    Yazzie checked the cab of the truck.

    “It smelled of the odor of an alcoholic beverage inside,” he wrote. “In the center console were three unopened 12 oz. cans of Budweiser beer (Christmas edition).”

    In the back refrigeration unit were undelivered meals.

    Yazzie located the driver route log, that confirmed the driver as Kenny Jaramillo.

    Both rear tires were almost bald from being spun in place. The rear heavy-duty bumper had been ripped from the frame and pulled the electrical wire harness with it. The rear fiberglass refrigeration unit had rub damage and was cracked.

    Campos said it would cost about $1,800 to repair the vehicle.

    Jaramillo was cited for leaving the scene of a crash, failure to notify an accident and careless driving.

    No one answered the phone at the YDI building and there was no voice mail option.

    William Coburn contributed to this story.

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