The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Portales woman killed in crash


January 1, 2007

Two young women were killed in a car accident in Clovis on New Year’s Eve, according to a press release from the Clovis Police Department.

Keri Bechthold, 19, of Portales, and Ashley Welch, 21, of Estancia, died Sunday near W. 21st St. after the vehicle they were in collided with a fence, according to Clovis Police Department.

At approximately 7:30 p.m., Clovis police were dispatched to the intersection of West 21st and La Fonda Drive in reference to a motor vehicle crash.

Officers found a 1997 Pontiac Firebird, driven by Bechthold, upside down in a drainage ditch west of La Fonda Street.

The women were found ejected from their vehicle. Neither was wearing a seat belt, according to the release.

Welch died at the scene and Bechthold was transported to Plains Regional Medical Center where she later died, the release reads.

Preliminary investigation at the scene by members of the Clovis Police Department Crash Team revealed that the Pontiac Firebird was west bound on 21st Street. The car slid off the road and collided into a metal and wood fence at the west corner of 21st Street and La Fonda Drive, where it then flipped over into the drainage ditch and landed on its roof.

Both women were sent to the Office of the Medical Investigator in Albuquerque for autopsy.


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