Santa Fe Opera settles suit over wrong-way crash

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The Santa Fe Opera and the estate of an employee have reached a settlement with relatives of a family killed in a drunken, wrong-way interstate crash triggered by the worker, who was returning from a business trip.

The attorney for the opera, Michael W. Brennan, characterized the settlements reached this year as "substantial" but said the exact amount is confidential.

Opera employee Dana Papst drove the wrong way on Interstate 25 south of Santa Fe in November 2006 and crashed into a minivan. He died the next morning.

The crash also killed the van's driver, Paul Gonzales of Las Vegas, N.M.; his wife, Renee Collins-Gonzales and three of their children. Arissa Garcia, then 15, survived.

Tests showed Papst's blood-alcohol content was four times the legal limit for driving.

Papst had been seen drinking on a US Airways flight to Albuquerque that day, and other passengers said he appeared to be drunk.

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