An Albuquerque police officer is facing charges of vehicular homicide and great bodily injury by a motor vehicle in connection with the death of former Gardnerville resident and Air National Guardsman Ashley Browder.
Browder was killed on Feb. 10 when the Honda CRV driven by her sister Lindsay was struck broadside by a police patrol vehicle driven by Sgt. Adam Casaus.
According to documents filed by the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office, Casaus was westbound with his emergency lights on when he entered the intersection against a red light.
The Browder vehicle was northbound with a green light when the 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe hit the passenger’s side.
Witnesses told investigators that the Tahoe didn’t slow down when it entered the intersection, and the investigator didn’t find any tire marks indicating the police vehicle tried to brake.
Casaus told investigators at the time of the accident that he was trying to catch up to a possible drunk driver when the accident occurred at 1 a.m. According to the sheriff’s investigation, there’s no corroboration to confirm Casaus’ story.
“There was no indication of impairment for either driver,” officials said. “Based on that observation, no chemical testing was performed on either driver.”
An April 9 hearing has been set in the case, according to New Mexico Second Judicial District Attorney Kari Brandenburg.
“Our office has carefully reviewed the circumstances surrounding the incident involving Sgt. Casaus,” Brandenburg said in a statement. “It is our belief there is probable cause to move forward in a preliminary hearing, which may result in an information being filed. An information is similar to an indictment, and allows for a public hearing in district court. This case is being handled by the Felony DWI Division of our office.”
Both Browders were Douglas High School graduates, Ashley in 2009 and Lindsay in 2012. Lindsay had just moved to Albuquerque. Ashley was an airman first class in the Nevada Air National Guard and was in the process of transferring to the New Mexico Air Guard, which is where her father was serving.
Ashley Browder was buried at Eastside Memorial Park in Minden with military honors on Feb. 23.