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The victim was airlifted to an Albuquerque hospital

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FARMINGTON — A DWI suspect is accused of crashing into a stop sign which then hit and severely injured a 12-year-old boy, requiring the child to be airlifted to Albuquerque for his injuries.

Wilbert Armstrong, 52, is accused of a third-degree felony count of great bodily harm by vehicle, along with a misdemeanor count of aggravated DWI and four petty misdemeanor counts including reckless driving, according to court records.

Armstrong is accused of driving while intoxicated along U.S. Highway 64 and striking a stop sign, which then struck a child and caused a deep laceration on the child's left arm, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.

Nicholas Cullander, Armstrong's attorney, did not respond to requests for comment on Sept. 9.

A San Juan County Sheriff's Office deputy was dispatched around 8:09 p.m. on Aug. 23 to the area of 5995 U.S. Highway 64 between Bloomfield and Farmington on reports of a vehicle complaint.

Truck observed leaving the scene

A witness told dispatch a green pickup truck drove off the roadway, hit the sign and then drove back onto the roadway, continuing eastbound on the highway toward Bloomfield.

A deputy later observed a Ford pickup truck with heavy, front-end damage and conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle near the Ace Hardware store at 1947 W. Broadway Ave. in Bloomfield.

The truck pulled off the road onto a sidewalk and came to a stop.

According to the court document, the deputy could smell a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage from the defendant, and Armstrong told the deputy he had three, 25 ounce cans of beer before driving.

The suspect did not perform the standard field sobriety test and refused to provide a breath sample for a breathalyzer test. A warrant was later obtained for Armstrong's blood.

The deputy was advised the truck was involved in a crash around 5995 U.S. Highway 64 where a 12-year-old boy was injured from a stop sign Armstrong hit with his vehicle.

Tourniquet required before medivac

The stop sign hit a 12-year-old boy, striking him in the head and on his left arm, according to San Juan County Sheriff's Office Spokesperson Jayme Harcrow.

The sign cut the boy above the left elbow all the way to the bone, according to Harcrow. A belt was used as a tourniquet to control the bleeding.

He was transported to San Juan Regional Medical Center then airlifted to an Albuquerque hospital due to the severity of his injuries.

Armstrong was released from the San Juan County Adult Detention Center on his own recognizance with an alcohol monitor.

The defendant's preliminary hearing is set for the morning of Sept. 12 in Aztec Magistrate Court.

Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at jkellogg@daily-times.com.

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