Crash survivor: I do not hate the drunk driver

Posted at: 12/20/2013 10:35 PM
By: Jen Samp, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Les Martinez owns an auto and paint shop, Custom Coachworks, where wreckage is nothing new to him. But Martinez says he never imagined himself on the other end.

He and two of his employees were on I-25 South of Santa Fe headed home to Pecos from Albuquerque.

"Just picking up car parts, business as usual, we were laughing then I notice a car headed north," he said, "It swerved violently and in an instant there were headlights on us."

Police say those headlights were of Joe Salazar's and the 52-year-old was drunk.

Martinez says he tried swerving out of the way but was hit, causing his truck to roll three times.

"There were so many thoughts going through my mind as each time we rolled over," he said.

Now Martinez and his employees are recovering and cannot work.

"We didn't work yesterday. We didn't work today and with self-employment there is no income," Martinez said. "It's everything to me. It's my life."

Santa Fe police say Salazar has two broken legs and is expected to survive.  

Police plan to charge him with aggravated DWI, reckless driving and having an open container when he is released from the hospital.

Martinez says he does not hate him but hopes this serves as a lesson.

"I don't know him, how can I hate him?" he said, "I just wish he didn't get behind the wheel."