APD: 1 person died after a crash at Yucca ART station


Officers are investigating after declaring that one person died after an accident at Central and Yucca SW on Wednesday morning. (Adolphe Pierre-Louis / Albuquerque Journal)

A driver was killed after police said he ran a red light on West Central and another car slammed into him, pinning his car against a platform at the Albuquerque Rapid Transit bus station Wednesday morning.

Officer Simon Drobik, a spokesperson for the Albuquerque Police Department, said witnesses to the crash told police that around 7 a.m. on Wednesday, a silver car driving eastbound on Central lit a red light at Yucca SW. He said a couple in a red car were heading north through the Yucca intersection when they collided, sending the first car storming into the bus platform.

“Because of the way the cars moved, a secondary accident happened,” Drobik said. “These vehicles started to turn clockwise and the individual in the car heading east struck the ART platform and stopped. The driver of this vehicle died on the spot.

Drobik said the couple in the other car were not seriously injured. They were examined by emergency personnel on site and then left. Drobik did not identify anyone who was involved.

He said they had no indication that alcohol or speed was a factor at this time.

The ART project has been very controversial since its inception and many in the community have complained that the designated lanes, new lights and platforms are difficult to navigate.

Drobik said witnesses reported that the driver who started the fire may have driven in a reserved bus lane. However, he said officers were still investigating to see if features of Project ART could have contributed to the crash.

“I don’t know if there was any confusion since witnesses said he turned on the red light, but the contributing factors could be the station itself and the way the vehicles met in the middle,” Drobik said.

Nicole Gonzales, who drives on Central twice a day to and from work, said she has seen a lot of confusion regarding this intersection and others with bus platforms.

She said she was about a block from Yucca on Wednesday when the crash happened. She said by the time she got to the intersection, around 10 other drivers had pulled over to try and help them after the crash.

“The tires were still slipping in the back of the car,” Gonzales said. “There was a man in a red jacket and he was trying like crazy to open the other door. He knew someone was stuck in that car.

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