LA woman struck by vehicle dies

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Felony charge now possible for driver

By Tris DeRoma

The Los Alamos Visiting Nurse Service has confirmed that a long-time employee, Emily Mares-Lang, succumbed to the injuries she incurred when she was struck by a vehicle July 16.
Mares-Lang died at CHRISTUS St. Vincent Hospital in Santa Fe, where she was taken after the incident.
Mares-Lang was walking across Main Street when she was struck by a pickup truck driven by Steve Fode, 25, of Los Alamos. Mares-Lang was 71.
Georgina Williams, the nurse service's executive director, said it is a sad day for the LAVNS family.
“All of us here at Los Alamos Visiting Nurse Service will miss her deeply,” she said. Mares-Lang was described by a LAVNS employees as a dedicated employee who worked in the LAVNS’ records department for eight years.
Assistant District Attorney Kent Wahlquist said his office is waiting for the Los Alamos Police Department’s report on the accident, adding that the report’s findings will determine what they ultimately charge Fode with.
Though Fode was charged with careless driving at the scene of the accident, the DA’s office formally withdrew the charges over double jeopardy issues due to the severity of Mares-Lang’s condition.
Now that Fode’s victim died as a direct result of her injuries, Fode could face reckless driving, vehicular homicide, a third-degree felony that carries a maximum six-year prison sentence.
That depends on what’s contained in the accident report, which should be completed in about two weeks, Wahlquist said.
“It will either be a six-year third-degree felony, or just a traffic offense where somebody died,” Wahlquist said.