Skip to comments.Family Mourns Sisters; 'Basketball Was Their Life' (Another NM DWI tragedy)
Posted on 03/07/2010 8:14:33 PM PST by CedarDave
SANTA FE Ask about teenage sisters Deshauna and Del Lynn Peshlakai, and the conversation repeatedly shifts to basketball.
"They were athletes the whole family," said the girls' aunt, Virginia Garcia. "They'd played basketball since they were little girls. Their father played; the whole family played. Basketball was their life."
It was basketball that brought Deshauna and Del to Santa Fe on Friday night, where they were killed by a suspected drunken driver in a five-car pileup on Cerrillos Road.
The Peshlakais, who are from the Navajo community of Naschitti, south of Shiprock, were headed home after Newcomb High School's first-round state playoff game at Santa Fe Indian School when police say their Chevrolet sedan was rear-ended by a pickup driven by James Ruiz.
Ruiz, 36, of Albuquerque has been charged with two counts of vehicular homicide and is being held in the Santa Fe County Jail. Police suspect alcohol was involved.
He has a previous conviction for DWI, according to online court records, and was scheduled to go on trial on the same charge, stemming from a 2008 offense, in Santa Fe Magistrate Court this week.
The girls were riding in the back seat, while their father, David Peshlakai, was driving. David remained in the Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center ICU on Saturday night, where he was being treated for a collapsed lung and broken ribs. The girls' mother, Darlene Thomas, was in the passenger seat of the car and was also treated at St. Vincent, Garcia said. ...
One of the girls died at the scene; the other died in the early hours Saturday morning, Santa Fe Police Chief Aric Wheeler said.
Deshauna, 17, was a member of the Newcomb team, the youngest in a line of five sisters who had represented the Skyhawks.
(Excerpt) Read more at abqjournal.com ...
In May 2008 Ruiz was charged with DWI and pleaded not guilty. Court records show Ruiz has a previous DWI conviction in Bernalillo County and an open-container conviction in Sandoval County. In Friday's crash he was driving with a revoked or suspended license and has been charged with that offense also.
Despite progress in DWI legislation, these multiple offenders continue to drink and drive with horrendous consequences for other drivers. The only ones that come out ahead are the DWI defense lawyers who make money off of other peoples pain and suffering.
PING! to the NM list.
(please let me know if you wish to be added or removed from the list.)
Prayers for the family & victims.
This slime deserves the death penalty.
Illegal alien ???
Repeal of the NM death penalty was signed into law by Bill Richardson one year ago this month.
Dems have no sympathy for the innocent. They ALWAYS have compassion for the criminal however.
How horrible for this family. Prayers up for all.
What a tragedy. My heart just aches for that family.
I do not know when our state will learn. I think more than 1 DWI or DUI offense and it’s jail for a long time. I don’t know what else there is to do. This guy already lost his license. I guess they could force people like this guy to take that drug that makes you vomit if you drink ~ besides jail or that I don’t know if there’s another way to stop someone that continues to drink and drive...
Pictures of these young woman at the link.
And I guess it was to protect all those poor “immigrants” from meeting an end they deserve?
Thank you Dave. I’m glad the coach from the Santa Fe Indian School went to help the family. Those girls had a bright future ahead of them and thanks to Ruiz not getting help for his addiction and feeling it was okay to flaunt the law and drive without a license, that future has been cut short.
Death penalty should never have been repealed, but Richardson knew he was going to be shaking off the NM dust soon and he just did what he wanted.
Obviously though, the death penalty has never been used much in NM ~ if I recall correctly, at the time it was repealed, we only had 2 criminals on death row.
I remember reading that Hispanic drivers in my home state are something like 3.8 as likely as other drivers to get cited for driving drunk. I’m sure those stats extend nationwide.
“I remember reading that Hispanic drivers in my home state are something like 3.8 as likely as other drivers to get cited for driving drunk.”
It’s a Macho Cultural thing with them. It’s that way down in Mexico itself and has been for a long time.
Santa Fe Police said a man with a history of reckless and drunk driving is to blame for a five vehicle pile-up that left two women dead.
Police said James Ruiz, 34, was driving the truck but he shouldnt have been. Police charged Ruiz with driving on a revoked or suspended license. By Saturday morning police tacked on two counts of vehicular homicide.
Ruiz is in custody, charged with two counts of vehicular homicide and one count of driving while his license was suspended or revoked. According to online court records, Ruiz has multiple DWI offenses and spent 60 days in a rehabilitation program in California in 2008. Jury selection was set to begin Wednesday in a 2008 drunken-driving case.
I think the mahcho thing, but also just as American indian’s seem to have a real problem with alcohol if they drink, Hispanics seem to have the same problem and most of them have Indian blood... I don’t excuse this, have no use for anyone who drinks and drives much less over and over again, but I am intrigued about whether there is a gene that makes Indian’s predisposed to alcohol abuse.
The family should sue the state as an accessory to murder.
I'm sure there is something in their genes. Gallup and Farmington NM are two locations where alcoholism among native-Americans is rampant. Gallup has taken steps to close liquor stores and stop cheap wine from being sold to the Navajo's. There are several RR related deaths each year there where they are either struck while crossing or pass out on the mainline BNSF tracks.
If they’re looking for some way to use the stimulus money to employ people, they could use it to hire the unemployed residents of Farminton and a few other cities my wife and I drove through last October to pick up all the damn litter on the streets. We couldn’t believe all the trash lying by the roadside as we passed through Farmington.
I’ve always thought of NM as the “land of litter.”
When my dad came to visit one of the first things he commented on was all the trash (Rio Rancho). I told him we pick up our property, but with the way the wind blows, it's a real pain to keep up with. We don't even bother with the roads or properties (empty) near us. It just isn't worth it.