An exhaustive accident reconstruction by the town of Taos Police Department submitted to prosecutors earlier this month suggested both drivers in a fatal vehicle collision March 23 were impaired.
Gareth Harrold was charged with homicide by vehicle, great bodily injury with a vehicle and an aggravated count of driving while intoxicated after police said he crashed his Subaru Forester into a Chevrolet Monte Carlo driven by Peter Mondragón at the intersection of Camino de la Merced and Salazar Road around 8 p.m.
Anthony Gutiérrez, who was riding with Mondragón, was pronounced dead at a local hospital shortly after the collision.
Investigators were unclear, however, if Mondragón stopped at a stop sign before entering the intersection. The Chevrolet was traveling at about 14 mph when struck by the Subaru, the report said.
“The Subaru violated the right of way of the Chevrolet,” investigators concluded, as Mondragón’s vehicle was in the intersection first.
Harrold was reported to have a blood alcohol content of .18 when tested shortly after the collision.
An employee at a local restaurant, he told investigators he was en route that evening to celebrate his 26th birthday with friends after sleeping briefly following a double-shift at work.
Mondragón’s blood alcohol content had not been established when the report was completed as investigators were awaiting the test results of a blood sample collected on the night of the collision.
According to statements from several law enforcement officers who responded to the incident, however, Mondragón demonstrated that he might have been under the influence of alcohol.
No charges have been filed against Mondragón who was driving with an expired license at the time of the incident.
Harrold is scheduled to appear in Taos Magistrate Court July 18.
He was released March 28 on a $15,000 bond and has returned to Taos after attending a treatment center in Texas, police said.