AP NEWS

Santa Fe mourns boy, 9, killed in car crash

February 24, 2019 GMT

A community in mourning rallied Saturday around the family of a 9-year-old Santa Fe boy killed in a Friday morning car crash, as his father remained hospitalized in critical condition.

Jeremiah Archuletta, who was a fourth-grader at Gonzales Community School, died following a two-car crash involving the sedan he was riding in with his father and an SUV around 7:30 a.m. at the intersection where St. Francis Drive meets Paseo de Peralta and Hickox Street.

Jeremiah’s father, Dominic Archuletta, was being treated Saturday at the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque, Santa Fe police Deputy Chief Ben Valdez said.

Police on Saturday had not determined the cause of the accident and an investigation was ongoing.

A memorial of flowers and other items grew at the crash site, while donations for the Archuletta family poured in online and at the church where the family attends services and is very active, according to staff at Grace Community Church, 2247 Camino Carlos Rey.

“They’re just so much a part of all of us here,” said Deneen, a church member who requested that The New Mexican not use her last name. “And they’re going to need a lot of support.”

In addition to direct donations from several dozen people at the church Saturday, there is a donation box being maintained outside church doors, a church secretary said, adding that 100 percent of donations will go to the Archuletta family.

And by Saturday afternoon, online GoFundMe campaigns had raised more than $16,000.

In addition to the love and sadness expressed in social media, there were also a few angrier calls for safety improvements in the area of the crash, as well as for safer driving habits.

“This is a time in this community to not judge, to not sit and look at blame and whose fault it is,” cautioned Deneen. “Everybody has been impacted by this. We need to come together.”

Tearing up, Deneen said that her son, as well as other children in the church’s Sunday school, were very close friends with Jeremiah.

“We’re family here,” she said.