State police: Wagon Mound family members, including 2 girls, killed in alcohol related crash; suspect arrested

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Jul. 3—A Wagon Mound woman, her 4-year-old granddaughter and 9-year-old niece were killed Friday night in what New Mexico State Police said was an alcohol-related crash in the small New Mexico community about 105 miles northeast of Santa Fe.

Irene Romero, 42, and the girls, who were not identified, were killed in the crash about 10:45 p.m. Friday at the intersection of N.M. 120 and Aguilar Street. Romero's 21-year-old daughter, who also lives in Wagon Mound, was injured in the crash and transported to an area hospital, but her injuries did not appear life threatening. Her condition was unknown, according to the release.

The young victims in the crash were from Wagon Mound.

State police said Romero was backing out of a driveway when her 2004 Saturn was rear-ended at high speed by a 2022 Toyota driven by Jesse Joel Blanco, 22, of Wagon Mound.

Blanco was charged with three counts of vehicular homicide while driving intoxicated, aggravated DWI causing great bodily harm, speeding and reckless driving. Records show he was booked in the San Miguel County jail Saturday morning.

Dominic Armijo — a 20-year-old passenger in Blanco's car — was charged with tampering with evidence after police said he tried to hide an alcohol container, according to the release.

Armijo was taken to an area hospital where he was treated for injuries that were not believed to be life-threatening. After being released, he was booked into the San Miguel County jail Saturday afternoon.

The crash is being investigated by state police with assistance from the New Mexico State Police crash reconstruction unit, according to the release.