11/22/07

    A Cuarteles man was still in critical condition Tuesday after being run over in a hit and run Nov. 14 in front of El Paragua Restaurant, according to Española Police.

    Anthony Dwayne Hollis, 37, suffered massive internal injuries and a fractured pelvis after Española resident Roseanne Leyba allegedly drove over him in a GMC Sierra pickup, Española Police Sgt. Christian Lopez said. Hollis was airlifted to University of New Mexico Hospital where the trauma team attempted to stabilize him by controlling the large amount of blood loss, a police report states.

    Hospital staff said Tuesday Hollis was in serious condition and his injuries are considered life-threatening.

    Leyba, 27, was seen driving away from the scene "leaving (Hollis) suffering in the roadway," according to the police report. Police were able to contact Leyba through her brother after Marc Hudson, a witness at the scene, provided them her license plate number, Lopez said.

    Española Police charged Leyba with homicide or great bodily harm by vehicle and being involved in an accident involving death or personal injuries, both third-degree felonies. Leyba will face the homicide charge if Hollis dies.

    "It's my understanding there was a thump and a squeal but then (Leyba) drove forward and there was another bump and thump and then they just drove off," Española Deputy Chief Larry Ham said. "I think the factor in this was probably driver inattention, but then making the decision to leave —  if somebody hits someone and drives off and there's a serious injury, we're going to pursue those charges."

    Hudson did not see the truck backing up, he said, but noticed it merging into traffic on State Road 76 as he turned onto that road off of Riverside Drive.

    "I saw a truck move over what I thought was a bag of leaves," Hudson said. "It wasn't until I got close to the bag of leaves that I thought it might be somebody."

    Hudson followed the truck east on State Road 76 until he was able to write down the license plate. He said the driver was not traveling in a manner that suggested she knew she had done anything wrong. After getting the license plate number, Hudson doubled back to check on the victim, he said.

    "At first I wasn't sure he was breathing," Hudson said of Hollis. "He was bleeding from the head and he started to moan."

    Leyba spent one night at the Santa Fe County Jail and was released Nov. 16 after posting a $25,000 bond, according to the jail's web site.

    Leyba turned herself in to Española Police after being contacted through her brother, the police report states. She and a friend who was also a witness to the incident met with Lopez and gave the following account of the accident, according to the police report.

    Leyba and Danette Martinez drove from Los Alamos to Mamacita's Restaurant in Española, where Martinez parked her car. Leyba drove both of them to El Paragua Restaurant at approximately 5:45 p.m., where they shared a steak for two and a margarita.

    After the two left the restaurant, Leyba walked around her truck and inspected it for damage before getting in. She unrolled all four of the truck's windows at the same time she was backing up.

    "Both females stated that as Roseanne was backing up they heard a noise that sounded as if 'they had run over a cat,'" the report states.

    Leyba put the car in drive and proceeded eastbound on State Road 76, and the women "talked about the fact that they may have run over a person and not an animal," according to the report.  The police report describes Leyba hitting Hollis while traveling in reverse, but does not say whether she hit Hollis while traveling forward, as Hudson said he observed.

    After leaving the scene of the accident, Leyba and Martinez then went to Martinez's boyfriend's residence on McCurdy Road, the report states. Martinez's boyfriend called her and told her he was stuck in traffic because a helicopter landed in the middle of Riverside Drive near Allsup's gas station.

    According to the women's statements to police, they realized at that point that their car may have struck the person who was being airlifted out. They drove back to Mamacita's to pick up Martinez's car, and Martinez followed Leyba back to her Española home, where she parked her car and then rode with Martinez to the scene of the accident.

    After finding the road blocked off and a crime scene established, the women drove to Martinez's house in Ojo Caliente, "where Roseanne was said to have consumed a beer because she was so upset," the report states. Leyba turned herself in at the Española Police station after being contacted by her brother, according to court documents.

    Leyba is a systems administrator in the computing telecommunications and networking division at Los Alamos National Laboratory, Lab spokesman Steve Sandoval said.  He said Leyba is still an active employee.

    An online courts records database shows that Leyba has twice pleaded no contest to speeding but has no other convictions.

    Española School District Transportation Director Sennie Quintana, a Cuarteles resident, said Hollis has lived in a house next door to her for the past 15 years, and she and her husband help him with money, food and clothes. When her family met Hollis, she said, he was homeless, and he began helping them with yard work in exchange for a place to live.

    On the day of the accident, Hollis was walking from Espanola to his Cuarteles home — a walk he made twice a day every day because he had no driver's license or car, Quintana said.

    "He was just somebody that everybody totally loved," Quintana said of Hollis, whom she said is known by his nickname, Weenie.

    She said Hollis was unemployed and did jobs like car washing and yard work for people in the community.

    According to Quintana, Hollis is well-known to the entire community of Cuarteles. The morning after Hollis was hit, Quintana said she received over 20 calls from people who know Hollis and were concerned about his condition. Quintana, who has visited Hollis at the hospital, said doctors were not giving her high expectations he would improve.

    Española Jail records show that Hollis has been transported to the facility to be detoxed 22 times.

    Leyba and Martinez refused to comment for this story.

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