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Fatal New Year's Eve crash may see doctor behind bars

On behalf of Law Office of Matthew Vance, P.C. posted in Drunk Driving Accidents on Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A 56-year-old doctor that once practiced in Santa Fe, New Mexico, is scheduled to appear at an upcoming plea conference in a case made against her. The woman has been charged with vehicular homicide after her reported involvement in the death of a 4-year-old girl. According to authorities, her blood alcohol content was 0.08 percent, high enough for police in New Mexico to consider the event a drunk driving accident.

Different accounts of the crash reconstruction have been submitted by the prosecution and the defense, making the case a potentially contentious affair. The only details that are certain are that the doctor was driving a 2004 Land Rover that was involved in an accident with a 2002 minivan driven by a mother with her two daughters as passengers. One of the daughters, the 4-year-old, was pronounced dead soon after the accident. The other, 3, was flown to a hospital in Albuquerque, New Mexico, so that she could be treated.

Independent witnesses have provided reports on the accident that are in conflict with one another. This is how the two sides of the case were able to submit different declarations of the event. According to the criminal complaint, the 56-year-old doctor was traveling south on St. Francis Drive on Dec. 31, 2011 when her vehicle collided with the passenger side of the minivan.

Reports indicate that the doctor was traveling to the airport in Albuquerque at the time of the crash. Authorities have said that she told police she had drank two glasses of wine roughly five hours before the accident occurred. Results from a blood test showed that she had a blood alcohol content that was on par with the legal limit, making authorities to consider her intoxicated by law.

The other driver was also tested for alcohol but none was found in her system.

If convicted, the doctor may face as many as six years in prison. Currently, she is living in Arizona with her mother and is being monitored through the use of a GPS electronic monitoring device.

Source: Santa Fe New Mexican, "Doctor charged in fatal crash to appear at plea conference," Nico Roesler, Aug. 29, 2012