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Sunday, April 14, 2024

NMSP respond to five fatal accidents since Friday in Lea, Chaves counties

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The New Mexico State Police report responding to five fatal vehicle accidents since Friday, four in Lea County and one in Chaves County.

A Wyoming man was killed Wednesday morning in a fatal accident in Lea County.

The New Mexico State Police were dispatched just after 6 a.m. Wednesday to U.S. 62/180 and State Road 483 – Arkansas Junction – west of Hobbs.

Initial investigation revealed a 2004 Chrysler was traveling east on 62/180 when it attempted to make a left turn onto SR 483. The vehicle failed to yield to oncoming traffic, turning in front of a 1991 Subaru.

The Subaru driver attempted to avoid the impact but was unable, colliding with the Chrysler.

The driver of the Chrysler, Michael Taggert, 37, of Casper, Wyo., sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene. The Subaru driver was treated at the scene for minor injuries.

Alcohol is not believed to have been a factor in the wreck; however, seatbelts do not appear to have been properly used. The Subaru driver is facing no charges.

Around 8 a.m. Monday, officers were dispatched to West County Road near Marland in Hobbs in reference to an accident.

Investigation revealed a 2013 Ford F-550 had been traveling north on West County Road when it crossed the center line into the southbound lanes, sideswiping a Kenworth truck.

The impact caused both vehicles to overturn, and the driver of the F-550, identified as Ector Diaz, 44, of Hobbs, sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at an area hospital.

The driver of the Kenworth was transported from the scene by EMS with injuries not believed to be life-threatening.

Alcohol is not believed to be a factor in the wreck, which remains under investigation.

Just before 10 p.m. Sunday, the NMSP responded to a fatal wreck on Zinnia Road near Red Bridge Road in Roswell.

A 2007 Yamaha motorcycle had been traveling east on Zinnia when, for unknown reasons, it left the roadway and wrecked. The driver, identified as James A. Wooddell, 52, of Roswell, was transported to an area hospital but later pronounced dead.

Alcohol appears to have been a contributing factor in the incident.

At around 3 p.m. Saturday, a fatal accident occurred on State Road 128 near mile marker 39 between Loving and Jal.

Initial investigation revealed a 2012 Kenworth semi-truck was negotiating a left turn onto a lease road from the eastbound lane of SR 128 when a 2017 Ford F-350, also eastbound on SR 128, failed to slow down and rear-ended the semi.

The driver of the Ford, identified as Russell Shaw, 47, of Pecos, Texas, sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at an Odessa, Texas, hospital. The semi driver was uninjured.

Alcohol does not appear to have been a factor, and seatbelts were in use.

Just after 6 a.m. Friday, the NMSP were dispatched to State Road 18 near mile marker 1 south of Jal in reference to an accident involving a semi and a motorcycle.

According to reports, a 2004 Harley Davidson motorcycle had been stopped next to a 2003 Chevrolet utility truck on the east edge of SR 18. A 2015 Peterbilt semi was traveling north on SR 18, and as it approached the two vehicles, the motorcycle pulled into the travel lane and struck the semi.

The driver of the motorcycle, Ashley D. Easter, 28, of Eunice, was pronounced dead at the scene. Her male passenger was airlifted to a Lubbock, Texas, hospital with unknown injuries.

Upon further investigation, police learned the Chevrolet pickup alongside which the motorcycle had been parked was reported stolen from Monahans, Texas. Charges of receiving or transferring a stolen motor vehicle are pending against the motorcycle’s passenger.

The man’s identity will not be released unless charges are officially filed.

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