A man was killed after a semi-truck collided with a pickup truck on U.S. Highway 285 south of Roswell Wednesday, causing the pickup to flip over.
Luis Alberto Borunda, 23, of Roswell died at the scene of the accident near Hagerman, said New Mexico State Police, while the drivers and another passenger of the pickup survived the crash.
A Peterbilt semi-tractor-trailer was driving south on U.S. 285, behind a 2003 Chevrolet pickup truck which Borunda was riding in, police said, when it rear-ended the Chevy.
The pickup left the roadway after contact, police said, and rolled.
Borunda was pronounced dead by the Office of the Medical Investigator, police said, after the accident.
The Chevy’s 51-year-old driver and the second 47-year-old passenger suffered non-life-threatening injuries, police said, with the driver being transported to a nearby hospital for treatment.
The 54-year-old driver of the Peterbilt was not injured in the crash, police said.
U.S. 285 was closed at Ottawa Road for more than four hours, police said, as the two vehicles were towed.
Alcohol was not believed a factor in the incident police said, but it remained unknown why the Peterbilt rear-ended the Chevy.
It was also unknown if Borunda was wearing a seatbelt, police said, while the others involved in the accident were properly wearing them.
The crash was under investigation. More information will be shared when available.
This was the second fatal crash reported by New Mexico State Police in southeast New Mexico in the last week, after a man was hit by a car and killed Oct. 13 near Lovington.
In that case, Jesus Montoya, 22, of Lovington crashed and rolled his Chevrolet pickup truck in an area east of Lovington on Gill Road.
After the crash, Montoya’s truck came to a rest in the median and he got out and was walking in a bar ditch, police said.
A Toyota SUV driven by a 42-year-old woman from Lovington came upon the scene of the accident, swerved into the ditch to avoid the truck and fatally hit Montoya, police said.
He was declared dead at a local hospital, police said, and the driver of the Toyota was uninjured.
That crash also remained under investigation.
Fatal car crashes could be on the rise throughout New Mexico, as the New Mexico Department of Transportation reported 51 fatalities in July statewide, up from 30 in January, according to the Department’s latest data.
Most of the July fatalities were not alcohol-related, the NMDOT reported, with just nine of the 51 crashes reported.
In total between January and July, alcohol-related deaths were about 20 percent of fatal accidents in New Mexico, the NMDOT reported, 50 out of 255 total fatal accidents in the first seven months of 2022.
That number marked a decline in the last year from 2021’s total of 99 alcohol-related deaths between January and July of that year, read NMDOT records.
Southeast New Mexico also saw an increase in fatal crashes in the last year, the NMDOT reported.
Between Eddy, Chaves and Lea counties, there were 26 fatalities between January and July of 2022, read NMDOT records, up from 22 in during the same timeframe in 2021.
Adrian Hedden can be reached at 575-628-5516, [email protected] or @AdrianHedden on Twitter.