Alcohol blamed for crash that killed two Navajo sisters
A New Mexico man accused in connection with an accident that killed two sisters from the Navajo Nation has a long history of drunk-driving, according to court documents, and a longstanding problem with alcohol, family members said.

James Ruiz, 34, has at least 17 prior incidents involving DWI, careless driving or related infractions, The Santa Fe New Mexican reported. His stepmother and his brother said alcoholism was to blame for his run-ins with the law.

Ruiz is charged with two counts of vehicular homicide and one count of driving with a revoked or suspended license. He allegedly rear-ended a vehicle carrying four members of the Peshlakai family last Friday in Santa Fe.

Sisters Deshauna, 17, and Del Lynn, who would have turned 20 on Sunday, were killed. Their father, David, and mother, Darlene Thomas, remain in the hospital in critical and serious condition, respectively.

The family had been in Santa Fe for a game between Newcomb High School and Santa Fe Indian School. Deshauna was on the Newcomb team and Del Lynn had played for the team.

Get the Story:
Report: Driver in fatal crash admits to drinking (The Santa Fe New Mexican 3/9)
Crash Suspect Had String of DWIs (The Albuquerque Journal 3/9)

Related Stories:
Driver charged for deaths of Navajo sisters in Santa Fe (3/8)