El Paso

Two pedestrians killed, 17 months apart, by same driver

Two pedestrians killed, 17 months apart, by same driver

EL PASO, Texas - Teddy Sanchez, the Canutillo man who El Paso Police say hit and killed a woman by Cathedral High School last Wednesday, struck and killed a pedestrian 17 months ago.

Police say 65-year-old Marguerite Caruthers was not using a crosswalk and walked right in front of Sanchez's truck.

17 months ago, Sanchez struck and and killed an elderly woman walking down Doniphan near Canutillo High School. In that case, a police report stated the driver of another vehicle swerved into Sanchez's lane, causing him to drive off the road and into 82-year-old Socorro Martinez.

In the 2015 police report, the responding officers wrote: "The driver of the truck (Sanchez) immediately pulled over and performed CPR on the pedestrian. No charges are pending against the driver."

ABC-7 spoke with family and friends of Caruthers. The woman's son, Quinn, told ABC-7 he'd already made the connection that Sanchez, who struck and killed Martinez in 2015, was the same man who hit his mother.

"She liked making people laugh," said Quin Caruthers, whose mother was an actress at El Paso Playhouse. "It's been really tough, but we are all very strong people thanks to my mother."

ABC-7 spoke with Sanchez by phone, but he referred us to his attorney, Enrique Lopez, for comment. Lopez did not return calls.

"It's really tragic and it could just boil down to a very tragic coincidence," Caruthers said. "But we do want to make sure the police do everything they can to make sure that it is fully investigated."

Back in september of 2015, Sanchez was driving in the 6600 block of Doniphan, near his home in Canutillo, when he swerved to miss another car, according to the police report, and struck and killed Martinez.

Last Wednesday, Sanchez was traveling up Mesa Street near River Street when he struck and killed Caruthers, walking across the street to the Women's Club when she was hit. According to the police report, Caruthers was not in a crosswalk.

"I ran out there and by the time got out to the front of the house, the EMS was already there and they had her covered up," said friend Frieda Voeks, director of the El Paso Playhouse. "Just from having looked at the front of the truck, we could see he had hit her pretty hard."

"It must just as hard for him and his family," said El Paso Playhouse board member Veronica Frescas said of Sanchez. "I feel for him too. There's two sides to every story and yes that's once if not twice now that he's going to have to live with himself."

Police told ABC-7 last week's fatal crash is still under investigation. Sanchez was never charged in the 2015 fatality.

A rosary for Caruthers is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednsday at Sunset Funeral Home West. Funeral services are set for 11 a.m. Wednesday at St. Matthew Catholic Church on Sunset.

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