Tanker accident closes highway; one killed in weekend accident
August 10, 2009
In a 24-hour period, police said, three serious vehicle crashes in Curry County resulted in one death, multiple injuries and a 6,000-gallon asphalt spill.
A 25-year-old Clovis man killed Sunday night on N.M. 467 has been identified as Jose Gutierrez-Becerra.
State Police Capt. Jimmy Glascock said other occupants of the vehicle in which Gutierrez-Becerra was traveling are listed in critical but stable condition. Antonio Gallardo, 29, of Clovis, was transported to an Albuquerque hospital, while Mario Castillo-Rodriguez, 38, and Herman Rodriguez, 29, both of Texico, were transported to a Lubbock hospital.
Gutierrez-Becerra died at the scene.
The crash happened around 9:15 p.m. at a curve near Mile Marker 14, just south of the overpass at U.S. 60/84.
Glascock said the vehicle was traveling north at a speed too fast to safely navigate an eastward turn in the road. The driver overcorrected, and the vehicle rolled, ejecting all four occupants, he said.
Glascock said there were no witness statements to help determine what happened. Police are still trying to determine who was driving the vehicle at the time of the crash, he said.
Glascock said it was the second serious crash Sunday.
Around 4:30 p.m. that day, a 16-year-old Melrose girl was seriously injured when the car she was driving struck a sport utility vehicle head-on on U.S. 60/84.
The girl, Jordan Beard, was driving eastbound and was in the westbound lane passing another vehicle when her vehicle crashed into a westbound SUV.
Glascock said she was airlifted to a Lubbock hospital.
Then on Monday morning, a tanker carrying liquid asphalt crashed on U.S. 70, sending two men to the hospital.
Glascock said around 7 a.m. a tanker truck driving northbound near the Curry/Roosevelt County line left the roadway, and when the driver corrected, the tanker rolled onto its side.
The truck then slid northeast, striking a Ford pickup truck driven by Corral Quintana, 28, Glascock said.
Corral and Cariel Williamson, 41, the tanker driver, were airlifted to a Lubbock hospital in stable condition, he said.
The tank ruptured, spilling about 6,000 gallons of asphalt.
Glascock said a cleanup crew was on scene, and the effort was expected to take at least a day.
Traffic was diverted for a couple of hours Monday morning while the wreckage was cleared from the scene, but it had returned to normal by lunchtime.