City of Farmington employee injured in crash

Andy Burns, 53, was in critical condition on Tuesday afternoon, according to a hospital spokeswoman

Steve Garrison
Farmington police Sgt. David Karst inspects a pick-up truck that was involved in a collision with a city of Farmington backhoe loader on Tuesday on West La Plata Street in Farmington.

FARMINGTON — A city of Farmington employee was in critical condition Tuesday afternoon after he was struck earlier in the day by a pick-up truck at a work site near downtown Farmington.

Andy Burns, 53, was doing landscaping work Tuesday morning outside the Farmington Fire Department, 301 N. Auburn Ave., when he was struck by a pick-up truck, according to Farmington police Sgt. David Karst.

Dispatch was notified about the crash at 10:12 a.m.

A Farmington police offer places Shaun Williams, 21, under arrest Tuesday on suspicion of driving with a revoked license.

Karst said Burns was pinned between the truck and a backhoe loader and suffered life-threatening injuries.

Burns was treated at San Juan Regional Medical Center and then transferred to another hospital, according to San Juan Regional spokeswoman Laura Werbner.

Furhana Afrid, a spokeswoman for the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque, confirmed Tuesday afternoon that Burns was at the hospital and in critical condition.

Police identified the driver of the pick-up truck as 21-year-old Shaun Williams.

Williams was arrested at the scene on suspicion of driving on a revoked license, according to Karst.

Williams told The Daily Times at the scene that he had two puppies in the front seat of his vehicle. He said one of the puppies climbed into his lap and caused him to steer into the construction equipment.

Deputy Fire Chief David Burke said he was inside the fire department building for a meeting when the crash occurred.

"I didn't see what happened, but we were there in the aftermath and provided aid," Burke said.

City manager Rob Mayes said Burns was an employee in the city's Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs department.

"This is a shock to our city employee family," Mayes said. "We are still in the aftermath of the employees we lost last month."

Two other department employees— Chase Powell and Joe Schmidt — were killed in a crash March 16 on U.S. Highway 491 in Shiprock. Powell and Schmidt were returning to Farmington after attending an irrigation workshop in Grand Junction, Colo.

"We take every precaution and we train for safety, but it sounds like a situation where a driver just veered off the road," Mayes said of that crash.

Steve Garrison covers crime and courts for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4644. 

Police investigate a crash between a pick-up truck and a city of Farmington backhoe loader on Tuesday on West La Plata Street in Farmington. Clothing and other items can be seen on the ground after the victim was transported to the hospital.