Two killed, one critically injured in State Road 68 crash


Update: Oct. 2, 2:59 p.m.

Correction appended

Two people were killed and one person was critically injured during a two-vehicle car crash early Saturday morning (Sept. 30) along State Road 68 in Taos County.

In an update provided Monday morning (Oct. 2), Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe said the two deceased victims have been identified as Hannah Metzger, 25, a seasonal resident of Taos and Santa Fe from Delray Beach, Florida, and Cedrick Kober, 33, a seasonal resident of Santa Fe from Little River, South Carolina. The third victim, Cody Woolard, 26, of Taos remains in critical condition.

Juan Espinoza, 21, of Taos, reportedly had alcohol in his system and was speeding at the time of the collision, according to the Taos County Sheriff's Office. He has been charged with two counts of homicide by vehicle, a third-degree felony, according to New Mexico state statutes.

Deputies discovered that the vehicle Espinoza drove during the collision, a gray 2003 Chevy Tahoe, had been stolen. In addition to the crash, he is also being investigated as a person of interest in a call of "shots fired" reported earlier on Friday. "Additional charges are being considered by investigators," states a press release from the sheriff's office.

The crash occurred at approximately 3:28 a.m. along State Road 68 at mile marker 36.6, according to the press release, which states that Espinoza was headed southbound when he lost control, veered onto the southbound shoulder and overcorrected into the northbound lane, striking a black 2014 Nissan Juke carrying three passengers.

Sheriff's office deputies, Taos County Emergency Services personnel and officers from Taos Police Department responded to the crash.

Metzger, who drove the vehicle, was pronounced dead at the scene. Kober was transported to Holy Cross Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. Woolard was airlifted to University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque, where he remains in critical condition.

Espinoza was treated at Holy Cross Hospital and later booked in the Taos County Adult Detention Center.

Additional details will be released after an initial investigation has been completed, according to the press release.

"This is yet another terrible tragedy that has struck our community and is a stark reminder that driving drunk seriously effects the safety of our community," said Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe.

For more on this story, check back here and pick up the Oct. 5 edition of The Taos News.

A press release provided by The Taos County Sheriff's Office mispelled the name of the deceased female victim. The correct spelling of the victim's name is Hannah Metzger.

fatal car crash