New Mexico State Police Officers responded to two accidents on I-40 that occurred in close proximity to one another around 10 a.m. Monday. The driver of a pickup was airlifted to Northwest Plains Hospital in Amarillo where he was in critical condition Tuesday afternoon.
“The calls came in one right after the other,” said Lt. Nathan Wallace of the New Mexico State Police. “The second accident involving a tractor trailer and a pickup truck occurred just shortly after the first accident involving a pickup truck pulling a trailer.” Both accidents occurred in the eastbound lanes of I-40 near mile marker 330 just east of town around 10 a.m.
Wallace said the first accident occurred when a trailer began to fishtail. “The female driver and her male passenger noticed their trailer whipping side to side,” said Wallace. “The male passenger pulled the trailer brake, but the vehicle and trailer turned over on the southside of the roadway.” No injuries resulted from that accident, but soon an unrelated accident, about 150 yards from the first accident, occurred due to an illegal maneuver by a pickup truck driver, according to Lt. Wallace.. “The male driver of a pickup truck turned into the median from the westbound lane and attempted to travel back east in the eastbound lanes,” said Wallace. “He was traveling at a slow rate of speed in the eastbound lane when he was struck in the rear by a tractor-trailer. It wasn’t the tractor-trailer driver’s fault because there was a curve there and the tractor-trailer driver did not have time to react to the pickup truck in its path.”
The pickup truck landed upright just off the paved shoulder south of the eastbound lanes. The driver was transported to Dan C. Trigg Memorial Hospital and airlifted several hours later to Northwest Plains Hospital.