Police: Ice cause of fatal crash

Thomas Garcia

A local animal rescue volunteer was killed Saturday morning in a traffic accident on Interstate 40 as she was transporting a puppy for adoption.

State Police Capt. Jimmy Glascock said Catherine Priddy-Bugg, 51, of Tucu-mcari, died from injuries suffered in a three-vehicle accident on I-40 west of Tucumcari.

“It was just another day for her,” Cara Hendrickson Bugg said of her mother-in-law. “She was always ready to help and transport animals to new homes.”

Bugg had departed Santa Rosa after picking up an 8-week-old puppy named Elyse. She was transporting Elyse to Amarillo as part of a rescue relay for Rescue Road Warriors.

“She was going to pick up my daughter Madison and I (in Tucumcari) as she took Elyse to Amarillo,” Hendrickson-Bugg said. “We had so much to tell her on that trip.”

Hendrickson-Bugg said transporting animals was just a everyday part of Catherine’s life. She said at one point Catherine enlisted her help in taking dogs to Las Vegas, N.M., while Hendrickson-Bugg was going to college.

“Catherine never said no when it came to helping animals,” said Christina Fleming, member of the Tucumcari Volunteer Animal Rescue.

Fleming said Catherine was one of the original founding members of the Tucumcari Volunteer Animal Rescue.

“She did so much and believed in her work,” Fleming said. “She will be missed.”

Fleming said there has been an outpour of sympathy and support from around the world. She said many emails and blogs have been started and shared about the loss of Catherine’s and honoring her devotion to helping animals.

“Catherine completed her leg of the transport,” Fleming said. “She delivered the puppy “Elyse” to heaven.”

Glascock said the accident occurred at 9:03 a.m., at mile marker 323 west of Tucumcari. I-40 was closed more than five hours as state police investigated and cleaned up the wreckage.

Glascock said Bugg was driving a 2001 Ford pickup eastbound on I-40 when she struck a patch of ice and slid into oncoming traffic in the westbound lane. He said Bugg’s pickup was struck by a Kenworth semitruck driven by Jose Frayre, 62, of El Paso, Texas.

“The cab of the pickup was separated from the frame upon impact,” Glascock said.

Glascock said the resulting impact of the initial crash forced the semi to strike a 2008 GMC Envoy driven by Brock Hileman, 19, of La Fayette, Texas, pinning it between the barrier. He said the vehicle came to a stop and both caught fire.

“Both Frayre and Hileman were able to get out of their vehicle,” Glascock said. “There were some injuries but none of them appeared to be life threatening.”

Glascock said Bugg was wearing her seatbelt but was thrown from the vehicle. She died at the scene.