Kirtland airman killed by intoxicated driver remembered as 'gifted and talented'

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. D'Andrea Smith was killed in an off-base accident near Kirtland Air Force Base Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020.


By MATTHEW REISEN | The Albuquerque Journal | Published: November 6, 2020

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Police arrested a man accused of a drunken driving crash that left a Kirtland airman dead Wednesday night in Northeast Albuquerque.

Mohammad Hassani, 22, is charged with DWI-related homicide by vehicle in the death of 28-year-old Staff Sgt. D'Andrea Smith. It is unclear if Hassani has an attorney.

In a statement released Thursday, Col. David Miller called Smith "a gifted and talented member" of Team Kirtland's Medical Group.

"I would like to extend our deepest condolences to D'Andrea's loved ones. The Air Force is a family and the death of any one of our Wingmen is deeply felt by all of us," Miller, 377th Air Base Wing and Kirtland Installation Commander, said.

Kirtland officials said Smith was driving to her home in southeast Albuquerque when the crash occurred.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Metropolitan Court:

Officers responded around 7 p.m. to a crash at Eubank and Chico NE, just south of Copper. Smith was pronounced dead at the scene and an officer found Hassani out of his car and having trouble standing.

Police said, at one point, Hassani braced himself against an officer to keep from falling down, told paramedics he was drinking and had slurred speech. An open bottle of Hennessy was found in Hassani's car.

Witnesses told police Smith had a green light and was turning onto Chico from Eubank when Hassani, who was speeding down Eubank, crashed into her.

At the hospital, Hassani told an officer he had smoked marijuana, drank five shots of liquor and was traveling 70 mph when the crash occurred. During a sobriety test, Hassani asked about Smith and was told she had died.

Hassani then began crying and yelling about Smith's death and discontinued the sobriety test. Hassani had his blood drawn before he was booked into jail.

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