A Hernandez woman, just released from Española Hospital, lost consciousness Aug. 13 while driving home and collided with a propane truck in front of Jemez Mountains Electric Cooperative in Hernandez.
New Mexico State Police Officer Jarod Escareño wrote in his report that when he arrived at the crash site at about 10 a.m., he found the Chevrolet Tahoe, driven by Yajaira Solis-Parra, 28, in the southbound lane, facing south. The front end was extensively damaged and both airbags had deployed.
Solis-Parra had already been transported to Española Hospital emergency room.
In front of Solis-Parra’s Tahoe sat a semi trailer, driven by Jayson Brown, 46, Grand Junction, Colo.
Brown told Escareño on the scene that he was driving south in the southbound lane when Solis-Parra’s vehicle, heading north, crossed the center line.
It crossed the southbound lane, collided with the guardrail and bounced back into the right rear of Brown’s tanker trailer, which was full of propane. Brown said he had no time to react to Solis-Parra coming into his lane.
Escareño wrote in his report the scene was secured by assisting law enforcement and a one mile perimeter was set up in every direction because of the fear of the propane tank exploding. The tank was actively leaking as first responders tended to the drivers and directed traffic away from the scene.
Jemez Mountains Electric Cooperative and all businesses and homes within the perimeter were evacuated until about 7 p.m.
U.S. 84/285 was closed for nine hours and traffic was rerouted through State Road 68 and Ohkay Owingeh. Some larger loads, such as a mobile home, had to wait to move north on the closed highway.
Brown complained of a stiff neck at the scene but was otherwise alright.
Escareño went to the emergency room to speak to Solis-Parra. She told him she was at the hospital just prior to the crash and had been released.
Hospital personnel had given her medication upon her release but she told staff she was OK to drive, Escareño wrote in his report.
“Yajaira did admit to taking the medication she was given at the hospital prior to the crash,” he wrote. “Yajaira stated she advised the hospital staff she was feeling well enough to drive and they released her.”
She told Escareño she remembered leaving the hospital and passing some gas stations but that was all.
Solis-Parra said she did not remember crossing the center line or getting into a crash. She acknowledged she should not have been driving while on the medication.
Solis-Parra was airlifted to University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque with non life threatening injuries.
A propane truck came from Albuquerque and at about 4:30 p.m. was connected to the leaking truck. It took about an hour to successfully download the propane.
Escareño does not state in his report whether any citations were issued.