Taos Police arrest woman in December hit and run

By John Miller
jmiller@taosnews.com
Posted 2/4/19

 Taos Police arrested a 34-year-old Taos woman late last month on an arrest warrant charging her in a hit and run that gravely injured a bicyclist

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Taos Police arrest woman in December hit and run

Posted

Updated Feb. 7 at 12:40 p.m.

Taos Police arrested a 34-year-old Taos woman in late January on an arrest warrant charging her in a hit-and-run that gravely injured a bicyclist outside the Sagebrush Inn & Suites in December.

On Friday (Feb. 1), Chief David Trujillo said Detective Bill North investigated the crash and gathered evidence to suggest Benina Roybal was driving the vehicle that struck bicyclist Charles Winterscheid, 38, the night of Dec. 17.

On Jan. 30, Roybal was arrested and charged with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in great bodily harm or death, a fourth-degree felony.

Winterscheid suffered numerous injuries in the crash, including a spinal sprain or fracture, a broken pelvis, a chest wall contusion and an injured liver, according to the investigation report.

Office James Suazo and other law enforcement officers encountered Winterscheid bleeding from his head on the roadway. In the surrounding area, Sauzo wrote in a police report that he recovered “several pieces of a metallic blue vehicle, as well as parts of what appeared to be a vehicle headlamp assembly.”

The next day, Officer Angel Martínez was dispatched to the Taos Children, Youth and Family Center on Paseo del Cañon East. A caller had said a blue Chevrolet pickup truck with a flattened left front tire, damaged passenger-side headlamp and shattered driver’s-side window had been left there overnight.

Checking the registration plate on the vehicle, Officer Martinez learned that the truck was registered to Roybal and her husband, Juaquin Quintana.

Further investigation allegedly showed that the vehicle had left skid marks over the roundabout island near the family center.

But Roybal said in a interview that the tires on the truck had “buckled” the night of Dec. 17, causing her to crash into a sign near the family center. She said a male, whom she did not identify, had helped her push the truck into the family center parking lot.

Reviewing surveillance footage obtained from the family center, however, Officer Martínez saw Roybal slowly driving into the parking lot just after midnight Dec. 18, a few hours after the hit-and-run occurred. A second truck, driven by Quintana, can later be seen coming to pick Roybal up before leaving the area, according to police.

Officers later say they matched the fragments recovered from the scene of the crash with Roybal’s truck.

“One piece, approximately seven and one-half inches in length and constructed of transparent and black plastic, fit perfectly onto a broken portion of the headlamp housing of the vehicle,” according to the investigation report.

Taos Police obtained an arrest warrant and charged the 34-year-old in connection to the hit-and-run.

Roybal is scheduled for a preliminary examination in Magistrate Court in Taos on Feb. 14 at 9:30 a.m.

hit and run

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