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Truck crashes into car, business

A collision on Sunday involving a car and a milk truck left two teens hospitalized and damaged a local business.

A Milk Transport Services truck was traveling south on East First Street about 2:30 p.m. on Sunday and failed to negotiate the curve just before Abilene Avenue, Portales Police Capt. Lonnie Berry said.

“We feel like speed was the biggest causing factor at this point,” Berry said, noting there is a 25 mph limit posted in that area. “We’re trying to see if there’s another factor as well.”

The truck jumped a curb and traveled onto the lot of E.T.’s Mini-Mart and Discount Tobacco Shop, where it struck a tan Pontiac Grand Am with four passengers before crashing into the store’s interior.

Berry said the car’s driver, 16-year-old Becky Gomez, and the front-seat passenger, 17-year-old Adolfo Alvarez, were both taken to Covenant Medical Center in Lubbock. Berry said both were alert and talking when they were being taken from the vehicle.

A Covenant spokesperson said information on their status was not available on Monday.

Two other passengers, which the police did not identify, were treated at Roosevelt General Hospital and released. Berry said the driver of the milk truck, Gary Schwarz, was not hurt and the truck’s milk tanks were empty.

The truck crashed into the parked car and pushed it backward, and eventually sideways, until it came into contact with shrubs and a tree branch on the south side of the business’ property. The front driver-side door was wrapped around the tree trunk.

“There was a tremendous amount of damage done to the car,” Berry said. “That’s the most amount of damage I’ve seen to a car where somebody wasn’t seriously injured or dead.”

The truck also crashed into the front of E.T.’s, destroying three windows and several shelves of merchandise.

Berry said Schwarz agreed to a blood and drug test and there is likely a 20-to-30 day wait for results on that test. Berry added Capt. Scott Chambers is working on a reconstruction of the accident.

After the police finished their survey of the area, officials from MTS did a similar investigation.

“They were very cooperative,” Berry said. “They also have their protocol.”

Craig Schmidt, the manager of MTS’ Portales terminal, had no comment when contacted Monday afternoon.

 
 
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