County deputy sues DWI driver for injuries

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A Valencia County sheriff's deputy has filed a civil lawsuit asking for personal injury and money damages regarding a traffic crash in October 2011.

Deputy Pedro Chavez filed the lawsuit against Barbara Ann Chavez, a resident of Valencia County, and her insurance company, Safeway Insurance, in district court on March 21.

According to the lawsuit, Chavez was on duty and was in pursuit of Barbara Chavez's vehicle as she was driving north on the southbound land of N.M. 314 in Los Chavez. The woman, who the lawsuit says was "intoxicated and/or under the influence of drugs while driving," crashed into the rear of another driver and continued to drive across the median into the northbound lane of the highway.

The deputy used his unit to stop the defendant's vehicle, resulting in his personal injury and property damage, the lawsuit states.

The deputy is asking the court for $25,000 in punitive damages, interest, costs and attorney fees.

Barbara Chavez entered a no contest plea to driving under the influence in April 2012, and was sentenced by Magistrate Tina Garcia to 90 days in jail, which was suspended, various fines, alcohol screening, 24 hours of community service, supervised probation, attend a victim impact panel, ignition interlock, and attend DWI school.

A charge of reckless driving was dismissed by the prosecutor.


-- Email the author at cgarcia@news-bulletin.com.