State police identify two people killed in fatal head-on vehicle crash on Navajo Route 5

Police say a 2019 Maserati drifted into westbound traffic Oct. 5 on Navajo Route 5 and struck a Volvo SUV head-on

Noel Lyn Smith
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — State Police have identified two people who were killed in a head-on vehicle crash on Oct. 5 on Navajo Route 5 on the Navajo reservation.

Michael McCraren, 50, of Tucson, Arizona, and Hannah Cornelson, 28, of Surprise, Arizona, were killed in the crash, according to a New Mexico State Police news release.

Two other people involved in the crash were not named in the Oct. 7 news release.

The release states that state police began investigating the crash at approximately 10:23 a.m. on Oct. 5.

The agency's initial investigation indicates that a 27-year-old man from Surprise, Arizona was driving a 2019 Maserati passenger car eastbound near Mile Marker 15 on Navajo Route 5 when, for unknown reasons, drifted the vehicle into westbound traffic.

The vehicle collided head-on into the 2021 Volvo SUV driven by McCraren and with one passenger, a 48-year-old woman from Tucson who was not identified in the news release.

McCraren sustained fatal injuries and a New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator employee pronounced him dead at the scene.

A 48-year-old woman was transported to a hospital in Farmington then flown to UNM hospital in Albuquerque.

Cornelson was the passenger in the Maserati. She was transported to a hospital in Farmington, where she died due to her injuries.

The driver of the Maserati was not identified in the news release. He had unknown injuries and was transported to a hospital in Farmington.

Alcohol does not appear to be a contributing factor in the crash, and it remains under investigation by the state police.

"Based on the outcome of the crash investigation, charges may be pending for the driver of the Maserati," the news release states.

The State Police do not release the names of victims or someone who has not been charged with a crime, according to New Mexico State Police spokesperson Dusty Francisco.

Navajo Route 5, which runs east to west between New Mexico Highway 371 and U.S. Highway 491 through Tiis Tsoh Sikaad Chapter, was closed on Oct. 5 to all traffic for several hours.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 or by email at nsmith@daily-times.com.

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