Written by Officer Dusty Francisco 08/20/2021
Cibola County, NM – On August 19, 2021, at approximately 1:59 p.m., the New Mexico State Police investigated a fatal head-on crash involving two Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMV) on Interstate 40 near milepost 131, east of Laguna, NM.
The initial investigation indicated a 2014 Freightliner CMV, driven by a 50-year-old male from California, was traveling east on Interstate 40 when one of the CMV’s front tires sustained a blowout. The CMV left the roadway, crossed the median, and into oncoming traffic of westbound lanes of Interstate 40. The CMV collided head-on with a westbound 2016 Freightliner CMV, which was driven by Steven Kay Hales (64) of St. George, UT. Hales sustained fatal injuries in the crash, and he was pronounced deceased on scene by the Office of Medical Investigator. The 50-year-old driver of the 2014 Freightliner CMV, sustained injuries believed to be non-life threatening and he was transported by emergency medical personnel to an area hospital.
Alcohol does not appear to be a factor in the crash and seatbelts appear to have been properly utilized by the driver of the 2014 Freightliner CMV. This crash remains under investigation by the New Mexico State Police.