Written by Officer Dusty Francisco 12/20/2021
Quay County-On December 17, 2021, at approximately 4:55 p.m., the New Mexico State Police investigated a multiple fatal single-vehicle rollover crash on Interstate 40 near milepost 333, by Tucumcari, NM.
The initial investigation indicates a 2002 Mercury Mountaineer SUV, driven by a 31-year-old male from Mexico was traveling east on Interstate 40 when the Mercury sustained a tire blowout. The Mercury left the roadway, struck a guardrail, and rolled. There were a total of ten occupants inside the Mercury at the time of the crash. All the occupants were from Mexico. The driver of the Mercury sustained unknown injuries and was transported by emergency medical personnel to an area hospital in Tucumcari, NM.
Three passengers in the Mercury, Alejandro Santiz Mendez (27), Benito Gutierrez (27), and Eduardo Rodriguez-Guiterrez all sustained fatal injuries. Both Mendez and Guiterrez were pronounced deceased on scene by the Office of Medical Investigator. Rodriguez-Guiterrez succumbed to his injuries while being transported by air to a hospital in Amarillo, TX.
Four other passengers in the Mercury, ages ranging from 17-36 years old, sustained unknown injuries. They were all transported by emergency medical personnel to an area hospital in Tucumcari, NM. Two male passengers, a 29-year-old and a 23-year-old were both transported by air to a hospital in Amarillo, TX.
Alcohol does not appear to be a contributing factor. This crash remains under investigation by the New Mexico State Police. Based on the outcome of the investigation, charges may be pending for the driver of the Mercury. State Police generally do not identify the names of victims and drivers who are not charged with a crime.