Christine Hobb, 33

Gallup, New Mexico
March 13, 2000

Agencies: Gallup Police Department New Mexico

Cause of death: Vehicular

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Last updated: almost 4 years ago


Ray and Christine Hobb worked hard, selling and installing television satellite systems on the Navajo reservation and making and selling silver jewelry in their spare time.
    Not that they had much time to spare. Not with seven children — one in diapers, two in high school and four in between.
    Ray and Christine had been married for 18 years and still enjoyed spending their days working together and their evenings watching one of their children play basketball or taking the kids into Gallup for hamburgers.
    On March 13, 2000, Ray and Christine got a paycheck and headed into Gallup in the afternoon. The older kids were still in school, so only the 8-month-old baby, Safawntyra, came along.
    They cashed the paycheck, bought groceries and did some more shopping, putting a computer and some clothes for the kids on layaway. Then they headed to McDonald's for a late dinner.
    Ray Hobb was driving the pickup as they pulled out of McDonald's in downtown Gallup and, on a green light, pulled onto U.S. 66, the main street that bisects the town.
    Johnny Caballero had been drinking at a nearby bar that evening and drove out of the parking lot without his lights on and led police around Gallup side streets for several minutes when he pulled onto U.S. 66.
    Police backed off, but Caballero was running red lights and going an estimated 100 mph when he slammed into the side of the Hobbs' pickup. The truck was torn into two pieces, and Ray and Christine were dead. Safawntyra died hours later.
    At home, six children waited for their parents, frightened and alone. Grandparents and aunts and uncles stepped in to take care of the five older girls and little Ray Jr.
    After the funerals, Christine Hobb's mother, Marie Cornfield, said the family could take at least some comfort in Ray and Christine's decision to not take the entire family into town that afternoon.
    Caballero pleaded guilty to three counts of vehicular homicide.
    "Maybe it's like they knew something. They didn't take the kids this time."

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