Las Cruces police arrested the driver believed to be responsible for Friday afternoon’s vehicle vs. pedestrian crash on Bataan Memorial East that claimed the life of a 16-year-old boy.
Isaiah Angel Anthony Gutierrez, 18, was arrested Friday evening and is charged with one felony count of involuntary manslaughter. Gutierrez was booked into the Dona Ana County Detention Center where he is initially being held without bond.
The crash claimed the life of a 16-year-old student from Organ Mountain High School. Out of respect for his family, Las Cruces police are not identifying him now.
Shortly before 4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9, police were dispatched to the report of a vehicle vs. pedestrian crash on Bataan Memorial East, just east of Mesa Grande Boulevard. Officers arrived to find the 16-year-old boy deceased. Gutierrez, identified as the driver of the Tahoe, remained on scene.
Traffic investigators believe the 16-year-old was walking along the sidewalk that parallels Bataan Memorial East when he was struck by a white Chevrolet Tahoe that was traveling east.
Preliminary information from the investigation leads police to believe the Tahoe veered off the roadway and struck the boy on the sidewalk. Investigators believe excessive speed may have been a contributing factor in the crash. Alcohol does not appear to have been involved.
Following the fatal crash on Bataan Memorial East, two more crashes were reported on Highway 70 east near Mesa Grande. Those two crashes were likely caused by driver inattention – drivers who were watching police activity on the frontage road and not paying attention to their driving.
As a result, Highway 70 eastbound experienced a substantial backup of traffic. Bataan Memorial East, beginning at Mesa Grande, was temporarily closed for the duration of the investigation that lasted well into the evening.
Police are asking for witnesses to the Bataan Memorial East crash, who have not already talked with police, to call Traffic investigators at (575) 528-4141.