LUBBOCK, Texas — The Lubbock Police Department identified 17-year-old Megan Martinez as the victim in the fatal crash near West Loop 289 and 34th Street.

The crash happened just before 9:30 a.m. Friday when the driver, 18-year-old Gabriel Castillo, was traveling southbound on the Loop 289 access road. His vehicle left the roadway and struck a pole.

LPD said Martinez, who was a passenger in the vehicle, was pronounced dead on the scene.

Castillo was taken by Emergency Medical Services to University Medical Center with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

A spokesperson for Frenship ISD said both Martinez and Castillo were students at Frenship High School and that counselors were on standby to provide support to students and staff.

An eyewitness of the crash, a woman who works at a nearby restaurant, told KAMC News through tears that seeing it was shocking. She added that several Good Samaritans rushed to help the teens.

Paul Palmer, the General Manager of Pie Five Pizza, told KAMC News he saw the aftermath of the crash. His restaurant faces the West Loop, and he said he’s seen a lot of crashes on that road but never one like this. It hit home for him and for his 17-year-old daughter Paola Palmer, who is the same age as Martinez. Paola is in high school herself and also saw some of the wreckage, not knowing it involved a student just like her.

“It saddens me because I have a 17-year-old daughter, and it just bothers me that a life has been lost at such a young age. It’s a really tragic situation, really a tragic set of circumstances. I just wish the parents a lot of love, and my thoughts and prayers go out to them … We’re just saddened that it happened here and wish it never happened to anyone and especially to a youngster,” Palmer said.

“It confused me, and it scared me at first … It hurts, you know, I can’t stand the fact that somebody now is missing,” Paola said.

Read the full release by LPD below:

The Lubbock Police Department Major Crash Investigation Unit is investigating a fatal single-vehicle crash that occurred shortly before 9:30 a.m. today on the southbound access road in the 3000 block of W. Loop 289.

A Jeep Grand Cherokee, driven by 18-year-old Gabriel Castillo, was traveling southbound on the W. Loop 289 access road when it left the road way and struck the pole of an electronic traffic sign. Castillo was transported by EMS to University Medical Center with serious, but non-life-threatening injuries. The passenger, 17-year-old Megan Martinez, was pronounced deceased on scene.

The investigation into this crash is ongoing.

Read the full release by Frenship ISD below:

Today, Frenship ISD was notified that two Frenship High School students were involved in a single vehicle crash this morning where one of the students died.

Frenship ISD counselors are on standby to provide support for students and staff in need of counseling services. Online grief resources are also available for parents and students at

We extend our love and deepest sympathies to the students’ families, friends, peers, and those impacted by this tragedy.

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