Two people killed in June 18 head-on vehicle crash near La Plata on New Mexico Highway 170

Joshua Kellogg
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — State Police have identified two people who were killed in a fatal head-on vehicle crash on the night of June 18 near the area of La Plata on New Mexico Highway 170.

The crash occurred around 5:56 p.m. on June 18 near mile marker 13 on New Mexico Highway 170, north of Farmington, according to a New Mexico State Police press release.

Tanisha Friend, 30, of La Plata and Edwin Yazzie, 32 of Church Rock, were killed in the crash.

New Mexico State Police shared initial details from the investigation in a news release June 21.

The release said Friend was driving a 2009 Dodge Journey SUV southbound on New Mexico Highway 170 when, for unknown reasons, the Dodge SUV crossed the center line into northbound traffic.

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Friend’s vehicle collided head-on into a 2014 Chevrolet Silverado pickup, which caused the pickup truck to roll.

Paramedics transported Friend to San Juan Regional Medical Center, where she died due to her injuries.

Yazzie was one of four occupants of the Chevrolet pickup truck.

A New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator employee pronounced Yazzie dead at the scene.

The 29-year-old female driver of the pickup truck along with a two-year-old and a nine-year-old passenger had unknown injuries and were transported to an area hospital.

Their names were not released.

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Alcohol doesn’t appear to be a contributing factor in the crash, and police said none of the occupants of either vehicle were wearing seatbelts.

Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at

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