Police investigate fatal crash on N.M. 511

Sheriff: Alcohol a suspected factor in crash

Steve Garrison
Auto Crash

FARMINGTON – The San Juan County Sheriff's Office is investigating a fatal crash that occurred Monday night near the New Mexico-Colorado border.

An oilfield worker called police dispatch at 11:38 p.m. to report a GMC pick-up truck left the roadway near mile marker 24 on N.M. Highway 511 north of Navajo Dam, according to sheriff's office detective Lt. Kyle Lincoln.

Lincoln said the vehicle created a large dust cloud after it rolled down a 30- or 40-foot embankment.

"Had somebody not seen the dust cloud, it might not have been reported," Lincoln said. "The vehicle was that far off the roadway."

Both the driver and a passenger were ejected from the vehicle, according  to Lincoln.

The passenger was found dead at the scene by deputies. Lincoln said his office has not been able to identify the woman.

The driver — a 22-year-old Ignacio, Colo., man — was airlifted to the San Juan Regional Medical Center for treatment, according to Lincoln.

Lincoln said deputies believe alcohol was a factor in the crash. His office has sent a sample of the driver's blood for testing.

Lincoln said the man could face criminal charges as a result of the crash.

Steve Garrison covers crime and courts for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4644.