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Driver Charged Following Rollover School Bus Crash

APD seeks information on second driver

Thurs. Feb. 24, 2022

ALBUQUERQUE – Following the February 23, 2022 rollover crash of a school bus, the Albuquerque Police Department has charged Mario Perez, 49, with two counts of Great Bodily Harm by Vehicle, a third degree felony.

As officers continue to investigate this crash, APD is seeking any information the public may have on another driver possibly involved, who fled from the scene. According to witnesses, the other driver was in a blue Ford Mustang.

On February 23, shortly after 5:00p.m, the on-call Motors Team was called to a serious injury crash located at Gibson Blvd. S.W. and Messina Dr. S.W.  Through the on-scene investigation it was learned that a white Ford Mustang, driven by Mario Perez was racing a blue Ford Mustang westbound on Gibson Blvd. S.W.  A school bus was traveling Northbound on Messina, crossing Gibson Blvd. S.W.  

The white Ford Mustang crashed into the passenger side of the school bus near the rear wheel.  The force of the crash caused the school bus to roll onto the driver's side.  A witness did tell officers the blue Mustang continued Westbound on Gibson Blvd. and did not stop.  

At the time of the crash there were approximately 23 students on the bus. Seven children were transported to area hospitals to be medically checked.  Two of the children sustained serious injuries to their legs, one of which required surgery and another child had a pelvic fracture which also required surgery.

Mario Perez, the driver of the white Mustang was transported to the University of New Mexico Hospital for a broken femur which will require surgery.  A DWI officer was dispatched to UNMH to screen Perez for signs of intoxication and did not find any signs of impairment.

Witnesses did confirm the two Ford Mustangs were racing and traveling at a high rate of speed.  One witness estimated they hit speeds of approximately 110 miles per hour.  The posted speed limit for the area of the crash is 40 miles per hour.  

This crash occurred just hours after the Albuquerque Police Department announced a new Traffic Division pilot program to target drivers speeding and racing on city streets and increasing enforcement. The hope for this program is to change driver behavior and prevent crashes.

A warrant for the charges of Great Bodily Harm by Vehicle was delivered to the hospital and Perez will be booked once he is released.  The Ford Mustang recovered at the crash was sealed and towed, and a warrant will be written to recover the vehicle data at a later date.

If the public has any information about the other driver seen in a blue Ford Mustang at the time of the crash, please contact (505)-242-COPS.