Fifth Judicial District Judge Lisa B. Riley sentenced Blake Bollema, 32, of Artesia to the mandatory sentence of 10 years — two of which will be served in prison, followed by eight years of supervised probation — this afternoon in Carlsbad for the July 2016 DWI accident that left a family of six injured.
Bollema had pleaded no contest to all charges against him, which included six counts of great bodily harm by vehicle (third-degree felony), misdemeanor aggravated DWI (second offense), leaving the scene of an accident involving great bodily harm or death (fourth-degree felony), failure to give information and render aid (fourth-degree felony), and petty misdemeanor counts of reckless driving and failure to yield.
Bollema has been in custody since entering the no contest plea, and his prison sentence is scheduled to begin immediately.
The accident occurred July 1, 2016, when Bollema, who was traveling northbound on 13th Street, failed to stop at the U.S. 285 intersection, striking a southbound SUV carrying six members of the Gabriel Granado family.
The family members suffered injuries of varying severity. Bollema initially left the scene, returning after an hour and telling officers he had gone to seek aid for his passenger, who remained with Bollema’s truck. He refused to submit to field, breath and blood sobriety tests; after obtaining a warrant, the New Mexico State Police collected a blood sample around four hours later and found Bollema’s blood alcohol level to still be .08.
Bollema’s first aggravated DWI charge, issued in early September 2007, was dismissed by the prosecution on Sept. 4, 2007. He was instead charged with first-offense DUI, pleaded no contest, and was ordered on Dec. 26, 2007, in Roswell district court to complete six months of probation and DWI School.
The Granado family has filed a civil suit seeking personal injury and punitive damages.
Additional details from this afternoon’s sentencing hearing will be published in Thursday’s edition of the Daily Press.