Update Oct. 8 at 3:30 p.m.
The Taos County Sheriff's Office announced Friday that it misidentified the the driver responsible for the crash. The driver of the Ford Expedition that crashed into the red Volvo was identified as Frank McAleer.
A woman was pronounced dead on the scene after a vehicle accident on US-64 West near mile marker 248 in Taos County, the Taos County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Tuesday afternoon (Oct. 5).
The accident was located just east of the Taos Mesa Brewing Mothership on the road leading to the Río Grande Gorge Bridge, just in front of 10,000 Wags Pet Resort, and shut down the roadway in both directions for approximately two hours.
The crash involved two vehicles headed west on US-64, with a green Ford Expedition appearing to crash into the back of a red Volvo stationwagon that appeared to be stopped to turn left. Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe said after an on-scene investigation, they were looking at speed and inattention as major contributing factors in the crash.
The decedent was identified as 43-year-old Julia Downs of Albuquerque, though she had just relocated to Taos for a job as a prosecutor with the Eighth Judicial District Attorney’s office. “Julia had already began settling in and was excited for her journey with us,” said District Attorney Marcus Montoya. He said her comforting personality “made it easy for everyone to welcome and enjoy her... Losing her came way too soon and she will be dearly missed.”
The driver of the Expedition was identified as Frank McAleer. He was treated for non-life threatening injuries.
Hogrefe said due to the Expedition’s older make, they will have to do a crash reconstruction to determine the exact cause of the accident, and whether or not to press charges against Stoltzfus.
This is the second fatal crash that has occurred in the area in less than a month – a 36-year-old woman died after a single vehicle crash on Rim Road in September.