Editor’s note: The following is from a report filed by Clovis Police Officer Rodney Wallace. In the report, Wallace details events prior to Friday’s car crash that killed Bobbie Lynn Beaman Sandoval, who was attending a Fourth of July family gathering.
On Friday 07-04-03 about 2141 hours I was patrolling in the area of 21st Street and Thornton Street Clovis N.M. in my marked patrol unit working shift I (graveyard) as a uniformed officer.
I was eastbound on 21st Street in the outside traffic lane stopped for the traffic signal at the Thornton Street intersection when I observed an older model green pickup across the intersection in the westbound left turn lane of 21st Street. The pickup was stopped behind another vehicle also in the left turn lane.
I observed the rear tires of the green pickup turning/spinning at a high rate of speed. The tires were squealing loudly and there was a thick cloud of smoke coming from them. The pickup was not moving forward or back giving the appearance the front wheels were locked up.
The traffic signal changed to a protected green left turn arrow for both east and westbound traffic. The pickup turned south onto Thornton Street from 21st Street. I turned in behind the pickup and engaged the emergency lights of my patrol unit, to perform a traffic stop.
The surrounding traffic was extremely heavy and there were numerous pedestrians in the area. This was due to the 4th of July Fireworks display at Green (sic) Acres Park having just ended.
The pickup drove slowly south on Thornton as if the driver was looking for a safe place to pull over. The rear window of the pickup was darkly tinted making it hard to see the driver or if there were any other occupants.
After approximately a block and a half of travel I sounded a short burst of my siren to ensure the driver of the pickup was aware of my presence. I continued to follow the pickup with my emergency lights engaged.
The pickup continued south on Thornton Street very slowly until it reached the 18th Street intersection where it made a wide left turn onto Eastbound 18th Street. As the pickup turned East on 18th Street it turned sharply left as if overcorrecting for the initial wide turn and struck a white and blue pickup that was stopped in the westbound traffic lane of 18th Street. The white and blue pickup was behind another vehicle that was stopped for the stop sign at the Thornton Street intersection.
The suspect vehicle (green pickup) then drove East on 18th Street at a high rate of speed away from the collision. I stopped my patrol unit and observed that the damage to the white and blue pickup appeared to be superficial and the occupants seemed unharmed. The white and blue pickup drove across Thornton Street and stopped.
I advised Dispatch that the suspect vehicle had left the scene Eastbound on 18th and engaged the emergency siren of my patrol unit to alert the public. I observed the suspect vehicle continue East on 18th Street and it appeared to have struck a parked vehicle along the southside of the roadway approximately one block East of Thornton Street as I saw it swerve sharply to the left.
I started to drive East on 18th Street when I observed the suspect vehicle strike another parked vehicle along the south side of the roadway in the 500 block of 18th street. I drove towards the suspect vehicle which had dissappeared (sic) from my view in a thick cloud of smoke and scattering sparks.
When I next saw the suspect vehicle it was stopped facing in a southwesterly direction in the roadway in front of 509 W. 18th Clovis N.M.
The report goes on to detail events that led to the arrest of the suspected driver, Joe Martinez Jr. The complete report may be obtained through the Clovis Police Department’s records division.