NM Motor Transportation Police Investigate Fatal in Lea County

On Thursday, August 28, 2014, at approximately 6:01 am officers from the New Mexico Motor Transportation Police Division and New Mexico State Police responded to the scene of a two-vehicle crash
LEA COUNTY, NM (PRESS RELEASE) -- On Thursday, August 28, 2014, at approximately 6:01 am officers from the New Mexico Motor Transportation Police Division and New Mexico State Police responded to the scene of a two-vehicle crash at the intersection of State Road 529, milepost 7, and County Road 126. It was reported one subject was unresponsive at the scene of the crash.

Initial investigation on seen determined a 2007 Freightliner commercial motor vehicle was traveling westbound on SR 529, approaching the intersection of CR 126. The driver Manuel Ornelas (59), from Grand Island, NE, was westbound and during this time a 2011 Ford pick-up was traveling southbound on CR 126 approaching SR 529. This vehicle was driven by Randy Ballard (55), from Loco Hills NM.

Mr. Ballard failed to stop at the post at stop sign, resulting in Mr. Ballard's pick up crashing into the right side axles of Mr. Ornelas' tractor. Mr. Ornelas' semi veered off the south shoulder of SR 529 and jackknifed. Mr. Ballard's pick up veered off the north shoulder of SR 529.

Mr. Ballard succumbed to his injuries at the scene of the crash.

The driver of the commercial motor vehicle, Mr. Ornelas, was not injured in this crash.

The contributing factor in this crash as been identified as driver inattention and failure to stop at the posted stop sign.

Alcohol and seatbelts were not contributing factors in this crash.

(Press release from New Mexico State Police)
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