FARMINGTON — A woman who was injured in a car crash between a suspected drunken driver and a Farmington police officer in 2012 filed a lawsuit last week against the city, the police department and the officer.
Deseree Trujillo, a 22-year-old Farmington woman, was injured when she was a passenger in Cody Olachea's car on Dec. 12.
Olachea, who is accused of drunken driving, collided with former Farmington Police Officer Tyler Brown at the intersection of North Butler Avenue and East Main Street.
Arlon Stoker, a Farmington attorney, filed the lawsuit on Trujillo's behalf. The lawsuit states that Brown was driving more than 20 miles per hour over the posted speed limit and ran a red light.
News releases sent out at the time of the crash stated that Olachea, not Brown, ran the red light and caused the crash.
San Juan County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Terry McCoy said deputies worked with city engineers to determine that Brown had a green light, and Olachea had a red light at the time of the crash.
"Cody Olachea was at fault for running a red light and being intoxicated," McCoy said.
Stoker said he hired an expert to review the circumstances of the crash, and the expert will testify that Brown was at fault.
At the time of the crash, Trujillo was sitting in the passenger seat, which was the side of the car that Brown struck.
She suffered fractures to her skull, face, sternum, pelvis and ankles. She also had many cuts and bruises and internal bleeding and was in a coma after the crash, according to the lawsuit. Hydraulic rescue tools were needed to remove Trujillo and Olachea from their car. Brown was treated for minor injuries.
"She almost died," Stoker said.
Firefighters and deputies who responded to the crash saw a pint-sized bottle of vodka on the floor of Olachea's car.
Farmington police Lt. Taft Tracy said the police department conducted an internal review of the crash. He said the department found that Brown violated two points of the police department's code of conduct and policies. Tracy said the crash investigation -- which was handled by the San Juan County Sheriff's Office because Brown was involved in the incident -- showed the Brown was speeding and not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.
Tracy said Brown has since retired from the police department for personal reasons.
Olachea was charged with causing great bodily harm while drunken driving, possession of a controlled substance and failure to obey a traffic light.
He is scheduled to stand trial Nov. 19.
Ryan Boetel covers crime for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4644 and email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @rboetel on Twitter.