Scott Quintanilla, 46, a lifelong resident of Taos, died in a single-vehicle car crash near Eagle Nest early Wednesday morning (Nov. 7).
According to a preliminary New Mexico State Police investigation, Quintanilla was traveling on U.S. 64 near mile marker 282 when he lost control and his vehicle rolled. Investigators say Quintanilla was ejected in the crash. He was later pronounced dead by medics at the scene.
Police said they don't know why Quintanilla was traveling near Eagle Nest Wednesday night. It appeared that he was not wearing a seatbelt when his vehicle rolled, according to the investigation, which also determined that alcohol did not seem to have been a factor in the crash.
Quintanilla was a former teacher at Taos Middle School and also the former co-owner of the Kyote Club, a restaurant and music lounge that he had opened with his brother, Ky, in 2014. The restaurant gained its name from a nickname he and his brother had shared when they were kids. It closed after an 18-month run.
His brother has gone on to work as head chef at Palletes, the new restaurant inside the recently reopened Hotel Don Fernando.
Quintanilla worked at LMNOC Broadcasting until about December of last year, when he began taking time off to care for his young daughter, who has been diagnosed with cancer.
He created a Go Fund Me account for her, "We love you Ashley," which remains active.
The girl's mother, Quintanilla's ex-wife, April Browne, was one of three victims in a triple homicide in Dixon last May.
Quintanilla also had a son with Browne, and three other children from other relationships.
An outpouring of farewells appeared on Quintanilla's Facebook page Wednesday morning as word of the man's death spread.
Quintanilla's own final posts urged his friends to go out and vote. His final entry, a picture of an "I voted" button fixed to his shirt, was posted Tuesday (Nov. 6) just before 2 p.m.
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