Described as athletic, handsome and smart, Forrest Fukushima was just 19 years old when a drunk driver on N.M. 502 killed him in 1986.
An avid bicyclist, Forrest was training for the “Iron Horse Bicycle Classic” competition when a car driven by Alex Naranjo struck him.
According to newspaper reports at the time, a tire on Naranjo’s vehicle blew out, which made the accident “unavoidable,” according to police reports. However, sobriety tests done at the scene also revealed that Naranjo had a blood alcohol level of .18 at the time of the accident. She was arrested for driving while intoxicated.
Naranjo is currently running unopposed for a municipal court judgeship in Española.
Though the tragedy has long since faded from headlines, his fellow classmates from Los Alamos High School never forgot him, and whenever they’d cross paths professionally or socially, Fukushima’s name would come up.
Now, almost 30 years later, two of Fukushima’s classmates decided to make their remembrance permanent. Lisa Hecker and Ismael Mena, classmates of Fukushima’s, worked together to install a “ghost bike” near the crash site.