Police say I-40 fatality may have been intentional

Thomas Garcia

A crash Sunday on Interstate 40 resulting in the death of a 39-year-old California man may have been intentional, according to New Mexico State Police Capt. Jimmy Glascock.

Glascock said the accident happened about 6 a.m. at mile marker 361 east of San Jon. He said a semi loaded with peaches was eastbound on I-40.

“The driver suddenly drove southwest, driving through the guardrail,” Glascock said. “The semi crashed into the bridge supports.”

The driver, Robert Allen of California City, Calif., was pronounced dead at the scene, Glascock said.

Glascock said the state police investigation indicates Allen was believed to be involved in a domestic dispute prior to the accident. He said a woman who was Allen’s passenger but was not in the semi when it crashed later reported to police Allen had assaulted her.

“At this time we are not releasing the woman’s name due to victim privacy rights,” Glascock said.

Glascock said an autopsy and toxicology report is pending to determine if Allen was under the influence of narcotics or alcohol.

Glascock said eastbound I-40 traffic is being diverted from the bridge at mile marker 361 using off ramps.

New Mexico Department of Transportation Public Information Officer Kenny Lujan said traffic could be diverted for up to two weeks.

“Our inspectors and state engineer staff are inspecting the bridge,” Lujan said. “Their reports will determine what work needs to be done and how long the bridge will stay closed.”