By QCS staff
A weekend car wreck killed two people, sent 12 people to the hospital and left one man in jail facing vehicular homicide charges.
The accident happened at 10 p.m. on Saturday, 14 miles west of Tucumcari on Interstate 40.
New Mexico State Police reported an eastbound Ford passenger car lost control and smashed into an eastbound passenger van, causing it to roll over four times. The van contained 12 passengers and a driver, all from Mexico, police said.
The driver and one passenger in the van were killed instantly while the other 11 were transported to Trigg Memorial Hospital for treatment, officials said.
The single passenger in the Ford was also transported to the hospital. The Ford’s driver, Leo Lucero, 29, was found walking on a road near I-40 shortly after the crash. Lucero was arrested and charged with two counts of vehicular homicide and five counts of causing great bodily injury and other traffic violations, according to the report filed by Calvin Lucero of the New Mexico Police Department who is heading the investigation.
Police said alcohol was a factor in the accident.
Officials said the Mexican Embassy has been notified and is assisting with the notification of the families of the van’s occupants. The name of the driver and the passenger who were killed are being withheld pending notification of next of kin.
Police said the passenger in the car with Lucero was Patrick Marquez and both men are from Santa Rosa.