A 35-year-old man is suspected of serving alcohol to minors the night two Franklin High School students were seriously injured in a car crash.
Angel Fernando Hernandez, of 5906 Windermore Ct., was arrested on suspicion of four counts of selling or giving alcoholic beverages to minors, possession of alcoholic beverages by minors and five counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, according to documents released by the Sunland Park Police Department.
Police said that Hernandez’ house is the one that hosted a party on Nov. 17 when two Franklin students were involved in a serious wreck.
James McClain-Green and Nathalie Diaz were the two injured when a Jeep driven by Pablo Dylan Payan, 17, collided with car driven by James Furman at the intersection of Leeds Drive and Edinburgh Drive. Both were arrested on suspicion of DWI.
KTSM spoke with the father of one of six students involved in the crash, who addressed the problem of underage drinking and how it all starts.
“What happened that night, where six kids were seriously injured, is the tip of an iceberg. I am personally surprised it doesn’t happen more frequently. It’s a big problem in El Paso, and this problem has to be addressed,” Henry Nikicicz told KTSM, “It starts within the family, where you should prevent and educate your children to not use drugs, not to drink alcohol. The school has to have its part as well. It doesn’t happen here.”
Nikicicz showed up to the scene of the crash in which his son was involved in and worries over the environment of high school parties that happed around the city.
“We make sure to tell them not to drink alcohol, however the peer pressure is so intense, that it’s a very difficult situation here,” Nikicicz shared, “There’s a culture, that permits children to abuse alcohol and abuse drugs, and nobody seems to care about that. I think it’s really bad and it’s something that destroys our society, destroys our children, and of course leads to tragedies that happened 2 or 3 weeks ago.”
Police on Wednesday said that Payan is also charged with abuse of child – reckless, great bodily harm by vehicle, three counts of abuse of child, aggravated driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, and failure to stop at an intersection as indicated by a stop sign. A notice of intent to seek adult sanctions has been filed on Payan as well so he could face charges as an adult.