40 accidents hit interstate area before holidays

TV Hagenah

In the space of the two days during the snow storm that hit the area just before Christmas, the New Mexico State Police headquartered in Tucumcari reported they handled 40 vehicle accidents eight of which involved injuries requiring a trip to the hospital.

According to State Police Sgt. Cleo Baker, the two days were very busy for the ten officers who were on duty in three shifts on Wednesday, Dec. 22 and the 12 officers who were on duty in three shifts on Thursday, Dec. 23.

Baker said the conditions and the number of accidents even had officers being called in early for some of their shifts.
The state police sargent said that while the entire district covers an area ranging from Santa Rosa to Portales to Nara Visa most of the problems arose from a very small area along U.S. Interstate 40.

“Looking at it now,” said Baker. “I see the majority of them (the accidents) happened in a stretch from the (Quay) county line to about 10 miles in.”

Baker said one of the most frustrating things about the number of accidents that happened was that many if not most of them were caused by a basic equation – vehicles traveling too fast for the conditions.

“That’s usually the case with accident during snow,” said Baker.