A pedestrian was hospitalized Thursday night (Jan. 30) after being struck by a vehicle as he crossed Paseo del Pueblo Norte near Camino de Merced around 6:30 p.m.

David Salazar, a fixture of downtown Taos known colloquially among local residents as "Huevo Dave," was airlifted to CHRISTUS St. Vincent Regional Medical Center in Santa Fe after sustaining what Taos Police Department Chief David Weaver described as serious injuries.

Salazar was hit by a four-door sedan as he stood on the median, Weaver told The Taos News.

The vehicle's 87-year-old driver turned north out of a parking lot and onto the median where she tried to merge with traffic but instead struck the local resident, according to Weaver.

The motorist was cited for driving on roadways laned for traffic, the chief said, noting that the center lane can only be used for left turns.

Salazar's condition could not be confirmed Friday morning (Jan. 31).

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ElethaT
ElethaT

Prayers for you buddy and for the driver. Hang in there. We are all praying for you.

Linda Bence
Linda Bence

This is very sad. We have many people in our community who don't own vehicles and whose only choice is to walk. These accidents are happening more and more and It is time for the TOWN to address lighting issues along Pueblo del Sur and Norte. In the areas where there is a concentration of motels, we will have tourists attempting to cross these dangerous roads to go to restaurants, etc. Occasionally, we will find someone who has had alcohol and who does not have the sharpest reflexes. I understand that some of the roads involved are state roads and not local ones but it is up to the TOWN where these roads lie to address this very serious issue. I understand Taos' mayor has a great rapport with our governor. Let's see him do his job.

LaMestiza
LaMestiza

My heart is broken. Dave is my classmate & I, along with another fellow classmate, had been talking about Dave's artistic talents the day before the accident. I was pulling out of Camino de la Merced at 6:45PM, saw the emergency vehicles and got ill when I found out it was Dave. Please keep us updated on his condition. Dave's been walking our town's sidewalks for years and he knew where he was to cross the road. This elderly driver must have their license taken away before they KILL SOMEONE... if they haven't already. God bless you, Dave.

Wildcats86
Wildcats86

The elderly driver did nothing wrong. Dave was walking in the middle of the street, and was not apparently crossing. There were sidewalks in the area he was hit but chose not to walk on them. While no one wants to see anyone hurt in an accident, and truly hopes Dave heals from this accident, it's hard to find blame on any driver that would have been in that situation.

madremaiz
madremaiz

So sad to read this news.

Taos native
Taos native

why would the driver get charged when he was jay walking. There are crossing signs at every light and he like so many rather risk their lives and not walk to the light

mrsduncan
mrsduncan

This is terrible. Regardless of the gentleman's merits as an artist or a nice guy, if he was walking in the middle of the street at night on a poorly-lit section, it's likely he'll be hit. If he was hit by a young person, we'd say that the driver was too inexperienced to be driving at night; if hit by a mom with her kid in the car, we'd criticize her as being distracted by her child. Let's not jump to conclusions about the driver and whether or not they should have a license. This would be a traumatic event for any of us to go through, and I'm sure the driver is devastated, as any of us would be.

pinosuarez
pinosuarez

Lets pray for a quick recovery for Dave.

pinosuarez
pinosuarez

Maybe the Town should consider making the medians "real" medians by installing turn lanes. Even a few trees would make it pretty. The current manner is anti-pedestrian. To cross these streets makes the pedestrian play Russian roulette. Remember Julian Varela who was killed last year crossing the same road?

SunnyDayNM
SunnyDayNM

I feel bad for both Huevo Dave and the elderly woman driver...prayers for both of them...I don't really have all the details of how the accident happened so I can't assess blame either way...just hope they both recover from this...

str8jacket
str8jacket

My prayers are with you Huevo. Love you buddy. Unfortunately the TOWN is not responsible for the State Highway lights. Maybe now the State will do something about it. [sad]

PB
PB

"The motorist was cited for driving on roadways laned for traffic, the chief said, noting that the center lane can only be used for left turns."

And due to the total lack of enforcement by said local police department, people use the middle lane however they see fit. To pull out into and wait for a opening, to pass people, to pass stopped traffic. As I said on the other article about a man getting run over, people in Taos drive terribly because law enforcement does nothing.

fueradetaos
fueradetaos

I hope David Salazar recovers soon from this tragic and regrettable accident. I have known David for years. Despite all he has always cared for, remembered, and asked how his friends are doing, even those who have long left Taos and New Mexico.

The authorities, I hope, will determine what caused this accident, even if it was an inevitable and chance confluence of factors. Many people have and will continue to walk in Taos. It's a risk for all and it's not likely to change.

Linda Bence
Linda Bence

It is a state road but it is the TOWN'S RESPONSIBILITY to INFORM THE STATE that we HAVE A SAFETY ISSUE and to ask that the road be evaluated as to what can be done to make it safer.

Part Timer
Part Timer

Isn't jaywalking against the law? Why no citation to the pedestrian?

GPaloma
GPaloma

Poor Huevo Dave!! It sounds like he got hurt really bad. My prayers are with him.

Taos was simply not planned for pedestrians, and so many of our drivers tend to be either spaced out or really aggressive. How many people do you see using their cell phones and driving? Too many. A good friend of mine almost got hit using the crossing light at Kit Carson park because of this. We have had so many pedestrian deaths and injuries. We need to talk about how to change that, as a community.

concerned citizen
concerned citizen

Well, the fellow just died…yet another death on that stretch of road, Taos's version of Cerrillos. Cops could sit there and draw speeding tickets all day long, but I almost never see them unless they're tending to an accident. Folks routinely go 10 or even 20 over the speed limit between Albertson's and Ranchos. There will be more pedestrian and even driver deaths on that mile of road, lots more if law enforcement continues to ignore the issue.

Sarah_V
Sarah_V

Part of the problem with the center lane is trying to cross over three lanes to turn left only to have some idiot in the far lane swing into the lane you're supposed to turn into. Combine that with the lack of synchronicity between traffic signals and idiots that hit the gas every time they see someone entering into traffic and it's a wonder anyone in Taos can make a left turn onto Paseo without getting killed. The center lane is the last place on earth I'd want to stand in given that people will routinely swing into the lane 100 yards before their turn. Is it any wonder that someone with mental issues to begin with was hit?