One woman is dead after a five-car pileup that happened Wednesday night on westbound U.S. Highway 70 around milepost 158, which is northeast of Las Cruces.
According to New Mexico State Police, a 16-year-old female was driving west on U.S. 70 in a 2001 Pontiac Grand Am. The car crashed and was blocking the left lane of the two-lane westbound road.
Lorenza Nunez, 51, of Las Cruces stopped at the crash scene to render assistance and warn oncoming traffic of the crash. According to NMSP, the area of the crash was very dark and the Grand Am had no lights on as it blocked the lane.
A Jeep followed by a Nissan Maxima and a Dodge Dually pulling a horse trailer, crashed into the Grand Am. During the subsequent crash, Nunez was standing outside her vehicle and suffered fatal injuries. She was pronounced dead at the scene by the Office of the Medical Investigator.
The three occupants of the Grand Am, the driver of the Jeep and the driver and the three passengers of the Dodge Dually were all injured. The driver and passenger in the Nissan and an additional passenger from the Dodge were transported for minor injuries not believed to be life-threatening. The horse in the trailer was uninjured.
The 16-year-old driver of the Grand Am was charged with driving while under the influence of an intoxicating drug and careless driving.
At this time, NMSP are still investigating the incident along with the New Mexico State Police Crash Reconstruction Unit.