ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Investigators have a big responsibility to find out who was at fault when an Albuquerque police officer collided with an SUV killing a young woman.
So why did law enforcement shun extra resources from the state's top law enforcement agency?
Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department deputies took the lead investigating the crash that happened in the early morning hours of Feb. 10 at Paseo del Norte NW and Eagle Rancho Road. New Mexico State Police were also called in to help.
It's standard procedure for police departments to team up to investigate a fatal crash or a deadly shooting involving an officer from another agency. It helps avoid any conflict of interest and promotes an unbiased investigation.
And as it turns out, BCSO does have a connection to Casaus. His wife is a dispatcher for the sheriff's department.
But for the Feb. 10 crash, that teamwork didn't happen.
Albuquerque Police Department Sgt. Adam Casaus sped through a red light on Paseo in his police SUV slamming into a Honda CRV driven Lindsey Browder, 19. Casaus, who was off duty at the time, had his emergency lights on but not his siren.
It's an officer's duty to make sure an intersection is clear before they go through it. The crash seriously injured Lindsay and killed her sister Ashley, 21, who was a member of the National Guard. Casaus said he was going after a drunk driver at the time of the crash, but there are no police records or calls to back up that claim.
State Police arrived on scene that morning but most of their help was quickly dismissed.
"I think a lot of the things that State Police was offering were just over-redundant," APD Lt. Joshua Kingsbury said.
According to e-mails KRQE News 13 obtained through a public record request, State Police offered laser equipment to map out the crash scene after BCSO's own equipment malfunctioned. Deputies declined that help.
State Police also offered to call the Albuquerque Fire Department to use one of their ladder trucks to take overhead photos. BCSO declined again.
State Police wanted to use the state's aircraft for aerial photos. One more time BCSO declined. Officers were also turned down when they offered up other measurement equipment.
News 13 asked Kingsbury if he thought his officers passed on some good help from State Police.
"Not at all, not at all," he said. "Good ideas, but I don't think it was necessary to the actual investigation."
Kingsbury said it was also important to get the busy intersection back open.
Deputies reconstructed the crash scene a week later to fill in some of the gaps in the investigation. That is common practice.
But State Police felt snubbed for no reason. In an e-mail to another officer, a State Police captain said "I don't like the fact that we are called to assist in making a thorough investigation but their actions are preventing us from completing that task. I think we owe this to not only the officer but the family of the deceased."