Unborn son's death leads to political activism

On behalf of Law Office of Matthew Vance, P.C. posted in Car Accidents on Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A 43-year-old man has been jailed in the San Miguel County Detention Facility since June of this year. He was allegedly behind the wheel of a vehicle that collided with a married couple near Las Vegas, New Mexico. Authorities believe that the man was driving under the influence of alcohol during the car accident.

The couple lost their unborn child in the crash. When emergency responders arrived at the scene, they realized that the woman was seven months pregnant and had her rushed to Christus St. Vincent's Regional Medical Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Once there, doctors performed an emergency cesarean section on the woman. The son, born early, survived for approximately one minute after being delivered.

This tragic event led the parents to start a petition seeking for tougher drinking and driving laws in the state of New Mexico. According to records, the 43-year-old man reportedly driving the vehicle that collided with the couple had three previous DWI convictions. Many, including the bereaved couple, have wondered why the man was allowed to be on the road after being convicted several times.

The accident, which occurred on June 11, has left the man in jail because he cannot afford to post his $25,000 bond. According to his attorney, he was not the one driving the vehicle at the time of the crash. A pretrial hearing is scheduled for late January and, if a plea agreement is not reached, the trial will begin during late February or early March.

According to reports, the couple hopes to begin talking with state politicians some time in the near future so that they can see the faces of individuals that have been affected by drinking and driving. The child's father has sent letters about strengthening such laws in the state, only to receive a "no" in return. He believes that this will be much harder for a politician to say to his face.

Source: New Mexico Watchdog, "Couple who lost baby calls for tougher drunk driving laws in NM," Rob Nikolewski, Dec. 17, 2012