Courtesy of San Juan County Adult Detention CenterNicole Begay
Courtesy of San Juan County Adult Detention Center Nicole Begay

FARMINGTON — Two Bloomfield parents face child abuse charges after two children were injured in a vehicle rollover crash on Sunday, police said.

San Juan County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded at 3:12 p.m. to the wreck south of Bloomfield on U.S. Highway 550. Police found two children — a 3-month-old and a 3-year-old — and a woman and a man at the scene. The woman, Nicole Begay, 25, is the mother of the 3-year-old child.

The driver of the car and the father of the 3-month-old baby, Robert Williams, 28, fled the scene on foot with another unidentified man before deputies arrived, according to a sheriff’s office press release. Both men were intoxicated, according to the release.

Williams had not been arrested as of Tuesday afternoon, San Juan County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Candice Montoya said in an email. 

The 3-month-old boy was airlifted to the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque to be treated for a head injury, according to the release. 

Montoya said in the email that the baby suffered a fractured skull and brain bleed. He was in a car seat that was not properly restrained when the vehicle rolled over.

The baby was later transferred to Carrie Tingley Hospital and is reportedly “doing well,” according to the sheriff’s office.

The 3-year-old suffered minor injuries. 

Begay and the unidentified man at the scene showed signs of intoxication, Montoya said in the release. They suffered minor injuries and were taken to San Juan Regional Medical Center.

In addition to first-degree child abuse, Williams also faces four felony charges for allegedly leaving the scene of an accident.

“It is despicable that people can place more value on fleeing the consequences of their actions than on the wellbeing of their family,” said Sheriff Ken Christesen in a prepared statement. “We hope this baby has a full recovery and does not have to endure a lifetime of hardship brought by his own father.”

Begay was arrested on suspicion of third-degree child abuse after being released from the hospital, according to the release. Montoya said the 3-year-old was sitting in Begay’s lap when the car rolled.

The cause of the wreck is still under investigation.

Deputies discovered evidence of alcohol at the scene, according to the release.

Montoya said the 3-month-old baby was placed in the custody of the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department. The 3-year-old was released to a family member. 

Both children were referred to the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department, which will complete the investigation, Montoya said.


Joshua Kellogg covers education for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 and jkellogg@daily-times.com. Follow him @jkelloggdt on Twitter.