CRIME

Bloomfield driver accused of vehicle hit and run, pedestrian admitted to ICU

Injured male pedestrian has injuries including brain bleed

Joshua Kellogg
Farmington Daily Times
  • Ira Werito, 56, is accused of four charges including a third-degree felony count of knowingly failing to give information and render aid – accident with great bodily harm, according to court records.
  • Werito was still wanted by law enforcement with an active arrest warrant on the afternoon of Feb. 4.
  • The defendant admitted to officers that he struck the pedestrian and drove away from the scene.

FARMINGTON — A Bloomfield man is wanted by law enforcement for allegedly driving into a pedestrian on U.S. Highway 64 and fleeing the scene.

The male pedestrian suffered extensive injuries and was admitted to a hospital's intensive care unit for treatment following the crash.

Ira Werito, 56, is accused of four charges including a third-degree felony count of knowingly failing to give information and render aid – accident with great bodily harm, according to court records.

The defendant is accused of hitting a male pedestrian with a Toyota Corolla on Feb. 1 near the intersection of U.S. Highway 64 and North Church Street in Bloomfield, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.

Werito was still wanted by law enforcement with an active arrest warrant on the morning of Feb. 7.

The Bloomfield Police Department was dispatched around 6:41 p.m. on Feb. 1 to the intersection of North Church Street and U.S. Highway 64 on reports of a vehicle hitting a pedestrian.

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A 48-year-old man was found in the roadway. He was breathing but unconscious.

He was taken to San Juan Regional Medical Center and was admitted to the ICU for extensive injuries including internal bleeding and a brain bleed.

Two witnesses saw a man later identified as Werito drive westbound and hit the man with a gray passenger car that then fled the scene.

One witness said the pedestrian was thrown about 30 feet into the air during the crash.

Investigators found Werito and the gray Toyota Corolla he was allegedly driving at a residence on County Road 5466 in the Lee Acres area.

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The vehicle had substantial front-end damage and was towed to the Bloomfield Police Department.

Werito was interviewed by investigators at the Bloomfield Police Department.

Documents indicate that the defendant admitted to officers that he struck the pedestrian and drove away from the scene.

He said he was following a truck too closely, so when the truck swerved into a different lane, he then saw someone in the roadway and was unable to avoid the crash, according to court documents.

The defendant then said he got scared by the crash and didn’t stop. Werito is also accused of driving with a revoked driver's license.

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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