One killed, one injured in highway wreck
SAN JUAN COUNTY — One person was killed and another is in serious condition following a wreck on U.S. Highway 64 this afternoon, according to the San Juan County Sheriff's Office.
Police say George Alex Valdez, 24, was killed and Arely Gomez, 18, was injured in the crash.
The crash was reported to dispatch at 12:46 p.m. this afternoon near the Compressor Systems Inc. property at 5995 U.S. Highway 64 between Farmington and Bloomfield.
San Juan County Sheriff's Office Captain Brice Current said a white Ford Mustang that careened into another motorist may have been involved in a hit-and-run crash at SunRay Park & Casino earlier today. Valdez was driving the Mustang.
Currrent said officers believed the Mustang was driven eastbound on U.S. Highway 64. The Mustang struck a westbound vehicle head-on, on the highway, before police could catch up with the car, Current said.
While police initially said the westbound vehicle was a SUV, a press release from the sheriff's office this afternoon stated that the injured motorist was driving a Chrysler 300.
The driver of the Mustang was killed in the crash and the car was destroyed, Current said. Gomez was taken to San Juan Regional Medical Center and is in serious condition, according to Current. Current said she is expected to survive.
Traffic was initially shut down between Bloomfield and Crawford Pens, in the area of County Road 5290. However, police later began rerouting traffic at the intersection of County Road 5500 and U.S. Highway 64 near the casino, according to press releases and posts on the Sheriff's office Facebook page. Commercial traffic was rerouted through Aztec via County Road 350 while other vehicles were allowed to take County Road 5500. Roads reopened around 5 p.m. today.
Current said weight limits on the bridge over the San Juan River on County Road 5500 prevented commercial traffic from being directed onto the road.
Police are waiting for toxicology results to determine if alcohol was a factor in the crash. Current said there were reports of Valdez hitting multiple cars while leaving the casino and driving erratically.
Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652.