Details emerge in fatal crash

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By Tris DeRoma

A police report detailing a fatal Main Street car accident revealed that the victim was hit when then the driver of the car, Steve Fode, backed his pickup truck without looking.
The report said that on July 16, around 11 a.m., Fode was approaching the intersection from Main Street and Central Avenue via Main Street when he realized he couldn’t turn left onto Central Avenue due to the construction.
According to eyewitnesses at the scene, the accident victim, 73-year-old Emily Mares-Lang, waited at the crosswalk for Fode’s truck to pass her. She had just left the post office and was on the crosswalk behind Fode’s truck when Fode “reversed at a high rate of speed,” and hit her with his Chevrolet pickup truck, according to witnesses. According to Fode, he was trying reverse his truck in order to make a U-turn when he hit Mares-Lang.
Officers at the scene were unable to interview Mares-Lang due to her injuries. She was immediately transported to the Los Alamos Medical Center then later to CHRISTUS St. Vincent Medical Center in Santa Fe.
Fode was charged with reckless driving at the time of the incident, but the charges were later dismissed by the Santa Fe District Attorney’s office, According to assistant district attorney Kent Wahlquist, the charges were dropped so the DA’s office could file additional charges later pending the outcome of Mares-Lang’s condition.
Mares-Lange succumbed to her injuries several days later. The district attorney’s office has yet to update the charges, which could include a reckless driving charge at the minimum all the way up to a reckless driving, vehicular homicide charge which carries a maximum of six years in prison.