EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — A single-vehicle rollover crash at Young Park in Las Cruces resulted in the death of a 20-year-old woman and the arrest of a 16-year-old driver whom police say was driving a stolen vehicle.
The teen driver is facing a range of charges including homicide by vehicle.
Shortly after midnight on Saturday, Nov. 18, Las Cruces police and fire were dispatched to a single-vehicle crash in the parking lot of Young Park. A 20-year-old woman was ejected during the rollover and the stolen 2017 Hyundai Tucson came to rest on top of her, Las Cruces Police said.
The woman, identified as Leilani Solis, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Investigators learned the Hyundai was reported stolen earlier in the day. Three times during the day, LCPD officers spotted the stolen Hyundai and attempted traffic stops on the SUV. Each time the driver failed to stop for police and officers declined to engage in a pursuit, according to LCPD.
At close to midnight, the owner of the vehicle happened to spot her SUV at Young Park. She called police and tried to confront the youths when they sped away and onto Walnut Street, police say.
The vehicle re-entered the parking lot and started following the owner who was on foot. The driver of the stolen vehicle once again accelerated but, this time, struck a curb during a turn and rolled over, police said.
After the rollover, the 16-year-old driver and two 15-year-old passengers, all boys, fled on foot from the crash. Police located and detained the driver and one of the 15-year-olds. The second 15-year-old passenger has not yet been found.
The 16-year-old driver was charged with homicide by vehicle, two counts of child abuse, three counts of aggravated fleeing from an officer, two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, failure to report a crash, failure to render aid, criminal damage to property and receiving or transferring a stolen vehicle.
The 16-year-old was booked into the juvenile section of the Dona Ana County Detention Center. Because of his age, police will not be identifying him publicly.
At this point, no charges have been filed against the two 15-year-od boys who were passengers of the stolen vehicle.