The community is rallying around a Moriarty family after three siblings lost their mother to a rollover wreck on Old 66 in Edgewood early Sunday morning. The children were in the vehicle.
Jeannie Marie Hodge, 43, was working as an in-home caregiver and helping her children through the loss of her oldest child, a teenage daughter named Alyssa, who recently lost a lengthy battle with cancer.
Her son Alex Farrell, 18, works as a manager at Blake’s Lotaburger. Alex and two younger siblings, Bradyn Nunley, 14, and Acasia Hodge, 4, plan to stay in Moriarty. “He has the help of his aunt and his grandma,” says family friend Rita Johnson, who started a GoFundMe for the family. “Alex is trying for custody [of his siblings].” Their brother Bailey Farrell lives out of state with his father.
According to the Santa Fe New Mexican, the driver of the other vehicle, 38-year-old Karla Muenze of Albuquerque, fell asleep at the wheel around 3 a.m., hitting the family from behind and causing the crash at N.M. 333 and V-Hill Road. Hodges was ejected from the vehicle and died at the scene. Police say she was not wearing a seatbelt.
Muenze was arrested and charged with vehicular homicide. The New Mexican states she bonded out of the Santa Fe County jail on Monday. She denied using alcohol or prescriptions prior to the crash, though one person told investigators Muenze had been drinking wine with dinner Saturday, according to The New Mexican’s reporting.
“She was such a dedicated mom,” says Johnson. “We were wrestling moms together. She liked taking the kids on trips, taking them out to eat.” Another friend saw her last at the park, where she had taken the kids for a picnic. “She was an amazing mom. Always soft spoken.” Jeannie loved music, makeup and artwork.”
Johnson wants people to know that all funds raised go directly to the family. Hodge is being laid to rest beside her daughter Alyssa on the family’s property.
“I’d like to make sure they have a really good Christmas this year,” says Johnson. Donations are being accepted at Dollar General in Moriarty, and GoFundMe.com. Search for “Jeannie Marie Hodge.”
Leota started working for The Independent in 2006, working her way up through the ranks. An employee buyout in 2010 led to her ownership of the newspaper. Leota has served on the board of the N.M. Press Association, and is currently its First Vice President. She is passionate about health and wellness, especially mental health, and loves making art. She can be reached at [email protected]