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Suspected racing crash involving at least one Kirtland airman kills woman, injures three

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By MATTHEW REISEN | The Albuquerque Journal | Published: March 25, 2019

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (Tribune News Service) — Police say a possible street racing crash involving at least one airman from Kirtland Air Force Base left a female pedestrian dead and three people critically injured Saturday night just blocks from the base.

“You can imagine all the experience of all the officers out here,” Albuquerque Police Department spokesman Simon Drobik said. “This may be the worst accident everybody here has ever seen.”

Television station KOB4 reported that Kirtland Air Force Base had confirmed that four airmen were involved in the crash. The base's Chief of Public Affairs Carl Grusnick told The Albuquerque Journal that the crash involved at least one member of the 58th Special Operations Wing.

He could not confirm whether the airman was driving or a passenger but said the base will cooperate with APD throughout the investigation.

Drobik said the crash occurred around 7:30 p.m. and that witnesses told police two cars were racing north on Louisiana, north of Gibson.

He said one of the cars tried to get around another vehicle and struck a woman who was walking in the middle turning lane, instantly killing her. The car then crashed into the Rising Phoenix Apartment Complex.

“There was nobody, thankfully, inside that building,” he said.

Three people in the car, including the driver, were critically injured and a fourth is in police custody.

Police didn’t immediately release the names of those involved in the crash.

Police say the incident is being investigated as a case of possible street racing. He said police will look into how fast the cars were going and other details that led to the crash.

“That will take some time,” he said.

Drobik said possible charges can range from a misdemeanor to a felony.

Dozens of police vehicles blocked both ends of Louisiana between Gibson and Zuni. Officers surrounded the car that crashed into the apartment complex. Neighbors had gathered on the sidewalk, and several of them said they saw the car hit the woman, swerve and crash headlong into the side of the apartment complex.

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©2019 the Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, N.M.)
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