ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – An Albuquerque woman is expected to face child abuse charges after she crashed on a busy freeway during rush hour and left behind her 18-month-old child, who was ejected from the vehicle, police said.
Georgette Vigil, 36, apparently lost control of the wheel of her SUV and slammed it into a concrete wall on Interstate 40 on Monday evening and then fled the scene of the crash, police said. Her toddler — strapped into a car seat that was thrown from the vehicle — was left behind on the roadside in chilly weather.
The child sustained cuts but did not suffer any life threatening injuries and is expected to survive, said Officer Tanner Tixier, a police spokesman.
In 911 recordings released Tuesday, callers reported the vehicle crossed several lanes of traffic before wrecking, and the driver left the scene.
“There’s been an accident, and a baby’s injured,” one caller said. “The SUV was going really fast on the freeway.”
She said a number of people had pulled over at the scene before officers and paramedics arrived.
Another caller who told a 911 operator he saw the wreck and was following the vehicle reported it had a rear flat tire and other signs of damage. Another child remained in the vehicle with no seatbelt, he told the operator.
Police later said that child, age 3, did not appear hurt, but was taken to a hospital and checked for injuries as precaution.
The mother was taken into custody at an apartment complex 2 miles from the crash late Monday and taken to a hospital for a severe cut on her forehead.
Police are also seeking a man who was in Vigil’s vehicle when it crashed and who ran from the scene. They identified him Tuesday afternoon as James Moquino, 34.
“Officers are continuing to investigate this complicated and heartbreaking case and are still gathering information,” Tixier said.
Police have not said how long the child was on the highway before help arrived.
Officers who located Vigil reported she appeared intoxicated. She is expected to be charged with child abuse upon her release from the hospital, Tixier said.
It was not known Tuesday if Vigil had an attorney, and the public defenders office did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.