Fatal Rollover Crash on State Road 539 in Rio Arriba County

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Written by Officer Dusty Francisco 01/18/2022

Rio Arriba County, NM – On January 15, 2022, at approximately 6:58 a.m., the New Mexico State Police investigated a one-vehicle fatal rollover crash on State Road 539 near milepost 5, east of Farmington, NM by the Navajo Lake State Park.

The initial investigation indicates a 2001 Ford Ranger pickup truck, occupied by a 29-year-old male from Farmington, NM, and Joann Kay Alter (46) of Bloomfield, NM were both traveling south on State Road 539. For reasons still under investigation, the Ford left the roadway and rolled down a rocky hillside. Both occupants in the vehicle were ejected from the vehicle. Alter sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased on scene by the Office of Medical Investigator. The 29-year-old was transported to an area hospital in Farmington, NM, where he was treated and released for non-life-threatening injuries.

It is unknown if alcohol was a contributing factor. Seat belts appear to have not been properly used by both occupants. This crash remains under investigation by the New Mexico State Police with the assistance of the New Mexico State Police Crash Reconstruction Unit and the Aerial Drone Team.