Regional
4:32 pm
Fri October 15, 2010

Las Cruces Police Release Image Of Van From Hit And Run Death

Las Cruces – Las Cruces Police are hoping that video of a white minivan may lead to the identity of the driver who was involved in Wednesday's fatal hit-and-run crash on Valley Drive.

The video is from the RedFlex camera that faces southbound on Valley Drive at Avenida de Mesilla. Police believe the white minivan, captured on video at 10:42 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 13, may be the same vehicle involved in the fatal crash.

Traffic investigators believe the vehicle involved in the crash that killed 58-year-old bicyclist Ricardo Duarte was a white 2002 Chevy Venture minivan. The driver of the vehicle failed to stop after striking Duarte and continued south on Valley Drive.

Duarte, of Las Cruces, died at University Medical Center of El Paso early Thursday morning.

The RedFlex camera at Valley and Avenida de Mesilla is one mile south of where the crash occurred. Ironically, the RedFlex camera on southbound Valley Drive is one of three cameras deactivated earlier this year so it no longer takes photos of red light violations or vehicles speeding through the intersection.

Police are asking residents to be on the lookout for the minivan, or someone trying to conceal the minivan. Anyone performing sudden body work on such a vehicle should also be considered suspicious. Anyone with potential information on the identity of the driver or the whereabouts of the minivan is asked to call police.

The Chevy Venture most likely has damage to its passenger-side front-end, front quarter panel and to its hood. The vehicle's radio antenna also may be broken.

Las Cruces Crime Stoppers is offering a $2,000 reward for information that helps identify the driver of the minivan. Anyone with information is asked to call Las Cruces Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or send a tip via text message to LCTIPS (528477).