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New Mexico DUI Tragedy

Tragically, a man driving drunk killed his entire family on Wednesday, November 9, in Valencia County, New Mexico. Possibly, and more tragically, the father will not release the remains of the children to their grandmother for burial.

James Woolbert was driving drunk with the mother and the two children as passengers on Wednesday when he crashed the car in Meadowlake. The children were not in the car seats, and they were thrown from the vehicle. They were 2 years old and 4 years old. The mother, Dawn, also suffered fatal injuries.  

The children’s grandmother, Pauline Jaramillo, has requested the remains of the children be released to her for burial, but Woolbert has been uncooperative with her request. Jaramillo, who helped raise the children, is heart stricken and has sought the assistance of a lawyer in the matter.

To complicate matters, Woolbert is currently recovering from his own injuries at the University of New Mexico Hospital. As soon as he has recovered, he will be arrested and await trial. The matter of the releasing the remains may be drawn out even more for these reasons.

Sadly, this tragedy may end in more tragedy, with the burial delayed and the father sentenced to prison. On a positive note, Woolbert may receive the alcohol rehabilitation he needs to prevent future lives from being lost.

While alcohol rehabilitation often takes place in rehabilitation centers like Vista Taos Renewal Center in New Mexico, Woolbert may receive his treatment while in prison. Jail is never the ideal environment for detoxification from drugs or alcohol, as the reoccurrence rate is high. Before you or someone you love is behind bars, get to an alcohol addiction center and seek proper treatment, outside of prison walls.

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COVID-19 update: The health and safety of our clients at Vista Taos Renewal Center continues to be our highest priority. Due to the national rise in cases of COVID-19, all potential clients entering the Vista Taos program shall be tested for the virus and must receive their results prior to admission. Vista Taos continues to work closely with the New Mexico Department of Health, adhering to the highest standards of care for our clients, and will provide subsequent testing after admission as needed. For assistance in finding the most efficient testing sites, please contact our Director of Community Relations, Jeremy Lihte, at (575) 425-1913
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