By Ryan Lengerich
A fatal crash just north of Quay County tarnished what police said was an otherwise safe holiday weekend in the area.
According to a police report, Phyllis Craig, 62, of Edgewood died about two hours after her 2003 Ford Ranger swerved off the road and rolled three times. The crash occurred on State Route 402 near mile post 14, north of Nara Visa in Union County around 7:30 a.m. Saturday.
The woman was taken to Coon Memorial Hospital in Dalhart, Texas where she died. It was unknown whether the driver was wearing a seatbelt and there were no passengers in the car. New Mexico State Police Lt. Nathan Wallace said the cause of the crash is unknown, but drowsiness or lack of attention may have played a part.
Wallace said with the exception of the Union County fatality, the travel heavy holiday weekend was tame.
“For a holiday, it was pretty slow,” Wallace said. “We had that little snow storm out east and there were two accidents related to that, other than that there was no major events.”
There were a total of five accidents in the local state police coverage area and only the fatality resulted in major injuries. Wallace attributed the low accident total to good weather.
While the busiest travel days were Wednesday and Saturday night, Wallace said highway congestion is not always a detriment to drivers.
“When traffic gets that it is congested enough people feel like they have to run the speed limit, that is beneficial,” Wallace said.
Tucumcari Police Chief Dennis Townsend said there was no unusual amount of arrests or police calls during the holiday weekend. There were three gas skips over the holiday period, which Townsend attributed to more travelers.