Double Fatal Crash on Interstate 40 in Cibola County

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Written by Officer Dusty Francisco 10/12/2021


Cibola County, NM – On October 8, 2021, at approximately 5:09 p.m., the New Mexico State Police investigated a fatal crash involving multiple vehicles on Interstate 40 near milepost 111, east of Laguna, NM.


The initial investigation indicated a 2019 Freightliner Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV), driven by Jose Rubalcaba (28) of Harlingen, TX, was traveling east on Interstate 40. The Freightliner approached a construction zone in the eastbound lane where traffic had slowed down. The Freightliner struck the rear end of a 2005 Dodge Ram pickup and pushed it forward into the rear end of another 2019 Freightliner CMV.

The driver of the Dodge, Thomas Brent Bowen (77), and a passenger, Vicki Bowen (74) both from Prescott, AZ sustained fatal injuries in the crash. They were both pronounced deceased on scene by the Office of Medical Investigator. The driver, Rubalcaba, and another passenger in the 2019 Freightliner, a 21-year-old female from Los Fresno, TX were both uninjured in the crash. The driver, a 30-year-old male, along with a passenger, a 21-year-old male in the other 2019 Freightliner, both from Phoenix, AZ, were also uninjured in the crash.

Alcohol does not appear to be a factor in the crash and seatbelts appear to have been properly utilized by all occupants. The driver of the 2019 Freightliner, Jose Rubalcaba was issued a traffic citation for Careless Driving. The names of the other occupants involved will not be released by State Police.