ALBUQUERQUE, NM – Alexander M. M. Uballez, United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico, announced today that a federal jury has convicted Alexis Riego, 50, of Merritt Island, Fla., of four counts manslaughter and two counts of assault causing serious bodily harm committed in 2019.
A grand jury indicted Riego in April 2021. According to the indictment and other court records, on September 7, 2019, Riego, a commercial vehicle driver, recklessly crashed into a line of traffic at the stopping in a construction zone on Interstate 40 in Pueblo Lagoon. At the time of the accident, Mr. Riego was driving at high speed and using his cell phone. The accident caused a six-car pile-up that killed four people and seriously injured two. The accident caused the closure of Highway 40 for several hours.
“When we get behind the wheel, we take on a collective responsibility to the families who share our highways,” U.S. Attorney Uballez said. “The consequences of a breach of this responsibility are serious and irrevocable. This condemnation is a sobering reminder that one moment on video chat can forever change your life and end the lives of others.
Riego will remain in custody pending sentencing, which has not been scheduled.
The FBI field office in Albuquerque investigated this case with the assistance of the Laguna Police Department and the New Mexico State Police. Assistant United States Attorneys Joseph M. Spindle, Elisa Dimas, and Matthew Nelson are prosecuting the case.
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