An Albuquerque Police officer was driving double the speed limit seconds before his police cruiser collided with a family’s car, killing a 6-year-old child.
NEWS: APD Officer Driving 78-80 mph Before Deadly Crash, No Charges Recommended
However, investigators aren’t recommending any charges against Officer Johnathan McDonnell, saying in part, the officer was “authorized to operate his vehicle in an emergency response.”
The new information comes as the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department has concluded its investigation into the April crash at Eubank Boulevard and Indian School Road. The case is now being reviewed by Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office.
The crash killed 6-year old Joel Anthony Suina.
Suina’s mother, 30-year old Antoinette Suina, was also injured in the crash, along with her 9-year old daughter who suffered a pelvis fracture, lung, liver and kidney contusions and a head injury. McDonnell broke his femur, a foot and other bones in the crash.
Witness audio recording and hundreds of pages of documents were released Friday by the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department, which has been investigating the crash April 17, 2017.
“The little boy was non-responsive, we couldn’t’ get a pulse on him,” said Monica Cullins, a witness who immediately tried to help.
“I’m not used to little ones like that,” Cullins said to an investigating officer as she compared the crash scene to her experiences as a medical professional.
According to investigators, Albuquerque Police Officer Johnathan McDonnell was speeding at a rate of 78 to 80 miles per hour just seconds before the crash. Investigators say McDonnell’s police cruiser was driving north on Eubank Boulevard, which has a speed limit of 40 miles per hour.
APD says McDonnell was responding to a high priority call at a nearby Albertsons grocery store, where a man was said to be threatening people, armed with a machete.
Investigators say McDonnell’s cruiser hit Antoinette Suina’s car at 67 miles per hour. According to the crash report, McDonnell’s car computer indicated that he tried to brake and steer in the moments before the crash.
The crash was captured on surveillance video, showing the Suina family car make an eastbound turn across Eubank Boulevard as it was hit by McDonnell’s police car.
According to the crash report, investigators say both McDonnell and Suina had green lights. Traffic controls at the intersection indicate that Suina’s car should have yielded to the oncoming police car.
However, according to the report, Suina maintained across multiple interviews that she did not see McDonnell’s police car, hear sirens, or see police lights. Investigators say McDonnell was running both lights and sirens at the time of the crash.
In the report, investigators wrote, “Officer McDonnel was operating his vehicle at a speed to (sic.) fast for conditions at the time.”
However, the lead investigator, Bernalillo County Sheriff’s deputy G. Gallegos, said, “I do not feel charges ware warranted at this time for either driver.”
Gallegos wrote, “Officer McDonnel was authorized to operate his vehicle in an emergency response.”
Investigators continued the explanation, writing:
I feel his (McDonnell’s) intentions were to proceed to the call in an expedited manner as to preserve the safety of human life. As stated in the call details that (“subject was swinging knife [machete] in direction of caller”). Witness accounts stated he was traveling at a high rate of speed, however there were no witness account stating he was driving in a manner as to be reckless (forcing vehicle off the roadway, weaving in and out of the lanes of travel, etc.) and he was not under the influence.
Deputy Gallegos also blamed the crash on the design of the Eubank and Indian School intersection, saying “the roadway and intersection make it hard to see oncoming vehicles in both directions (north and south on Eubank) when there are vehicles in the turn bays to proceed east and west.”
It’s unclear what McDonnell has said about the crash, at this point. According to the report, a statement from McDonnell’s attorney, John D’Amato, should be attached in the report. The page was omitted in the copy of the report that the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department gave KRQE News 13.
The report also states that D’Amato told investigators that McDonnell would not be giving a “voluntary statement” to investigators.
The case has been forwarded to the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s office for review. That office will make the final determination about any charges.
KRQE News 13 reached out to Albuquerque Police on Friday night, asking about McDonnell’s status with the department. An APD spokeswoman did not responded by 10 p.m. At last check, the department said McDonnell was on administrative leave.
PLEASE SHARE THIS ARTICLE. Police in Winter Haven are looking for two childcare workers accused of berating, taunting, and throwing a backpack at an eight-year-old child with autism.
WARNING: Women Wanted For Taunting Child With Autism On Video At Winter Haven Schoola
Police say they were called after a Snapchat video surfaced showing the women, identified as 26-year-old Kaderrica Smith of Haines City, and then-19-year-old Alexus Henderson of Dundee, yelling at and taunting an eight-year-old child at Our Children’s Academy in Winter Haven.
The boy, who was diagnosed with autism, ADHD, ODD, and severe outbursts, was seen and heard in the video crying and hiding underneath a table while he was being taunted by Henderson and Smith.
Police say at one point, the child gets out from under the table and runs around the room when one of the workers grabs his arms and does a “leg sweep,” causing him to fall flat on his back.
Police say the video shows one of the workers throwing shoes and a backpack at the child while he’s under the table.
“When we interviewed them they defended what they had done as being the appropriate thing to deal with this child.”
Just last month, Smith and Henderson were certified to work with children with autism, according to police
No one from the school could be reached for comment, but according to police both Smith and Henderson were fired immediately after the video surfaced.
Meanwhile, Rae Ryan says she pulled her 8-year-old son from the same academy back in 2014.
“In January, I went into the school and witnessed them dragging a child by their arms and feet down the hallway, and that was the last day my son went there,” Ryan recalled.
Ryan says, as the mother of a child with autism, she fears what happened will have a lasting impact on the child involved.
“I know for my son, just a change in teachers is a huge deal, so for somebody that he actually looks up to every day to do that to him, that’s huge,” she said.
The Department of Children and Families has placed a hold on their certifications so they could not be re-employed by any entity that works with children during their investigation.
Since police interviewed the women last week, they haven’t been able to find them and charge them.
Smith is facing charges of battery and child abuse. Henderson is being charged with child neglect. Anyone who knows where they could be is asked to call winter haven police.Heartland Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-TIPS (8477). Callers can remain anonymous and be eligible for a reward.
The latest Republican bill to repeal Obamacare would be the most brutal cut to child health care in modern politics. Republicans plan to spend only 90 seconds debating it on the Senate floor.
NEWS: GOP Will Spend Less Than 2 minutes Debating A Bill To Decide Health Care For 40 Million Kids
In their latest Obamacare repeal attempt, Republicans have made clear that they do not care about regular order or Senate tradition, and are blowing up the schedule to get the nightmarish Graham-Cassidy bill passed.
GOP will spend less than 2 minutes debating a bill to decide health care for 40 million kids
Senate Republicans have organized a couple of sham hearings, but will move forward without a full CBO score and no time to mark up or amend the bill.
Even more shocking, due to the way they have forced the bill through the reconciliation process, they will only be allowing 90 seconds of debate on the Senate floor.
Rushing any significant legislation like this is bad enough, but to do so when the primary victims will be children is utterly cruel.
Graham-Cassidy’s main provision is to end the Medicaid expansion, institute per-capita caps, and distribute funding as block grants to states. The effect would be to cut hundreds of billions of dollars from the program, and transfer much of what is left from blue states to red states.
Medicaid provides health care to 30 million children, and half of all births are covered by the program. Cuts this deep would force states to kick millions of kids and new mothers off their coverage.
Furthermore, Medicaid also funds occupational and speech therapy for millions of special needs students in public schools all across the country. These programs would be cut in droves if Medicaid funding falls, further hurting the most vulnerable.
In fact, the latest repeal push could hurt millions of kids even if the bill does not pass.
Little Lobbyists, an organization that advocates on behalf of children with complex medical needs, called the bill “terrifying.”
“This bill is looking to cut all of the safety provisions in place for families across the country,” said Austin Carrigg, a parent with the group, in a statement to Shareblue Media.
“So many of us we have wondered if our children would have a tomorrow, which makes these moments all the more important,” Carrigg continued. “Give them the chance to just be kids!”
Senate Republicans have until Sept. 30 to pass all reconciliation bills, including reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). If Republicans take too long on Graham-Cassidy, they will not have enough time to get CHIP to the floor, and 9 million kids covered by the program could lose insurance.
The idea that Republicans would even want to debate something as monstrous as pulling health care from millions of poor children is bad enough. That they think they can debate it in less than two minutes is beyond terrifying.