Hobbs News Sun

Hwy. 128 has 2nd fatal wreck within a week

Hwy. 128 has 2nd fatal wreck within a week

A southern Arkansas man died Monday morning after a two-vehicle crash on State Highway 128 in Lea County. It is the second fatal crash within a week on the state highway which travels east/westbound from the New Mexico-Texas state border, through Jal to N.M. 31 near Loving.

At about 11:30 a.m., Monday, New Mexico State Police investigated a fatal crash on State Road 128 around mile post 30 between Loving and Jal.

The initial investigation determined a 2001 Dodge pickup and a 2003 Peterbilt semi-truck were both traveling west on State Road 128. The semi-truck slowed to make a left hand turn onto Vaca Lane, for unknown reasons, the Dodge rear-ended the semi-truck. The Dodge pickup truck driver was identified as Matthew Rosenbaum, 22, of Ashdown, Ark. He sustained fatal injuries and pronounced dead at the scene. The semi-truck driver was uninjured.

The crash is still under investigation and alcohol does not appear to be a factor. No additional information was available as of Tuesday morning.

Monday’s fatal crash marks the second in less than a week on State Highway 128 in southern Lea County.

On March 1, NMSP investigated a two-vehicle traffic crash that resulted in the death of Benjamin Wayne Richey, 38, of Bryan, Texas. That crash involved a Chevrolet pickup truck and a Ford pickup truck and took place on State Road 128 mile marker 23. State police announced its preliminary investigation indicated Richey traveled eastbound on N.M. 128 and witnesses stated they saw it weaving across the roadway for miles and unable to maintain its lane.

“At mile marker 23, the pickup crossed into oncoming westbound traffic and struck a Ford pickup traveling westbound,” it stated.

Richey sustained fatal injuries and pronounced dead at the scene. Officers believed he was impaired at the time of the crash. EMS personnel transported the other driver for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. The crash remains under investigation.