Two men charged in fatal vehicle crash
Suspects accused of felony count of homicide by vehicle
- The driver of the vehicle told police another man grabbed the wheel while he was driving and "jerked it," which caused the vehicle to crash.
- Three occupants were transported to the San Juan Regional Medical Center for injuries from the crash.
- Charles Martinez, 44, of Nageezi was pronounced dead at the scene.
FARMINGTON — Two men involved in Friday's fatal crash on U.S. Highway 550 south of Bloomfield have been charged with homicide by vehicle in the death of a Nageezi man.
Burgess Cayaditto, 32, and Myron Augustine, 30, are accused of a second-degree felony count of homicide by vehicle (DWI), along with three other charges each, according to court records.
Cayaditto told police Augustine grabbed the wheel of the pickup truck he was driving and "jerked it," which caused the vehicle to crash, according to the probable cause statement.
Cayaditto did not have legal representation this afternoon.
The crash occurred about 22 miles south of Bloomfield near mile marker 128 on U.S. Highway 550.
Charles Martinez, 44, of Nageezi, was pronounced dead at the scene around 7 p.m. Friday by an employee of the New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator, according to court documents.
Cayaditto was booked into the San Juan County Adult Detention Center around 4 a.m. Saturday, where he is being held without bond.
He was one of three occupants of the vehicle transported from the scene to the San Juan Regional Medical Center, where he was treated and released, according to hospital spokeswoman Laura Werbner.
Cayaditto made his first appearance in Aztec Magistrate Court Monday morning.
Augustine's warrant is still active.
Court documents show New Mexico State Police officers were dispatched to the scene around 4:39 p.m. Friday on a report of a single-vehicle rollover.
At the scene, a State Police officer observed a small, black pickup truck resting on its passenger side. The truck had been traveling south on the highway when it crossed into the northbound lanes and overturned on the shoulder, according to a State Police press release.
Ricky Cayaditto, 54, was one of four occupants of the vehicle, along with Burgess Cayaditto, Augustine and Martinez.
Open and unopened cans of an alcoholic beverages were found in and outside the vehicle, along with a partially empty bottle of vodka that was found in the vehicle, according to court documents. The probable cause statement states an officer noticed a strong odor of alcohol from the vehicle and all four occupants.
During an interview with State Police, Burgess said he was driving from Farmington to Nageezi and admitted to drinking a "tall can" of beer and one shot of vodka, according to the probable cause statement.
He also was charged with petty misdemeanor counts of aggravated DWI and open container, along with a misdemeanor count of driving while license revoked, according to court documents.
Augustine was charged with a misdemeanor count of aggravated DWI, along with petty misdemeanor counts of obstruction to driver's view or driving mechanism and no seat belts, according to court documents.
Burgess' preliminary hearing is set for 8 a.m. Feb. 8.
The San Juan County District Attorney's Office filed an expedited motion for pretrial detention on Wednesday in District Court to hold him without bond pending trial. A hearing is set for Friday afternoon in Aztec District Court regarding the motion.
Joshua Kellogg covers crime, courts and social issues for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.