EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The Las Cruces Police Department said on Monday that no charges will be filed against the 18-year-old driver of a Nissan Quest minivan involved in a crash that killed late Las Cruces Public Schools Superintendent Karen Trujillo.
According to LCPD, the driver and sole occupant of the vehicle that struck Trujillo on Feb. 25 claimed to have been blinded by the setting sun and could not see pedestrians. The name of the driver is being withheld since there are no charges against them.
“Investigators determined his statement was valid given the time of day,” a news release said. “Investigators also believe Trujillo was wearing earbuds and was likely unable to hear the vehicle approaching.”
The driver of the minivan was traveling within a safe range of speed for the roadway where the crash happened, according to police. An investigation found that Trujillo was walking her dogs in the roadway and in the same direction of travel as the minivan, according to a news release. Investigators believe the driver’s ability to avoid the crash would have been difficult or impossible.
The driver remained on the scene and cooperated with police. Trujillo was transported to MountainView Regional Medical Center in Las Cruces, where she died of her injuries. Her dogs suffered injuries, but are recovering.
Interim Superintendent Ralph Ramos was named on March 1 during a special LCPS board meeting.