Dona Ana County, NM – On July 27, 2022, at approximately 5:04 a.m., the New Mexico State Police responded to a single vehicle fatal rollover crash near the intersection of Airport Road and McNutt Road in Santa Teresa, NM.
The initial investigation indicates a 2002 Chevrolet Tahoe SUV, driven by Julio Garcia Rascon (19) of Juarez, Mexico, was traveling east on Airport Road at a high rate of speed. For reasons still under investigation, as the Tahoe approached a curved roadway near the intersection of McNutt Road, the vehicle left the roadway, struck an electricity pole, and rolled. There were a total of 13 occupants inside the Tahoe at the time of the crash. Two of those passengers, Jorge Garcia-Vazquez (24), and Guadalupe Cruze-Vazquez (18), from Mexico, were ejected from the vehicle and sustained fatal injuries in the crash. They were both pronounced deceased on scene by the Office of Medical Investigator. The driver, Rascon, along with nine other passengers were all transported to an area hospital in El Paso, TX by ambulance and by air. One other passenger was reported to be uninjured.
During the crash investigation, investigators learned that prior to the rollover crash, a United States Customs and Border Protection agent (USCBP) attempted to initiate a traffic stop on the Tahoe on State Road 9 but discontinued on State Road 136, after the vehicle sped away and refused to stop. For information regarding the traffic stop, please reach out to the USCBP.
On July 27, 2022, an arrest warrant was issued for Julio Garcia Rascon through the Dona Ana County Magistrate Court in Las Cruces, NM. Upon Rascon’s release from the hospital on July 29, 2022, he was taken into custody and booked into the Dona Ana County Detention Center in Las Cruces, NM. Rascon was charged with the following:
- Homicide by Vehicle (Reckless Driving) (2 Counts)
- Great Bodily Injury by Vehicle (Reckless Driving) (10 Counts)
- Reckless Driving
Alcohol does not appear to be a factor in the crash. This crash remains under investigation by the New Mexico State Police with the assistance of the New Mexico State Police Crash Reconstruction Unit.