San Juan County, NM –
On 01/10/2014, at approximately 1602 hours, San Juan County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to a single vehicle accident. The accident occurred near the 147 mile marker on US 550, just south of Bloomfield, NM.
During the investigation, Deputy Erik Barlow, a Traffic Accident Reconstructionist, learned a white passenger car had been traveling northbound on US 550. “According to witness statements, the passenger car almost collided with a Dodge pick-up,” explained Barlow. “The pickup truck was also travelling northbound. Witnesses stated that the passenger car appeared to lose control and then went over the median and into oncoming traffic.”
The car then veered back into the northbound lanes of traffic, crossing both lanes of travel. “It then veered off the east side of the highway where it hit a natural dirt embankment,” continued Barlow. “The passenger car then went airborne before coming to a rest approximately 400 feet down the embankment.”
The Dodge pick-up was undamaged and the driver of the pick-up received no injuries. The passenger car was occupied by a male driver, one male passenger and one female passenger. The male driver was identified as 30 year-old Donavan Esquibel of Kirtland, NM. Esquibel was pronounced dead at the scene. The male passenger was identified as 23 year-old Thompson Washburn of Farmington, NM. Washburn was also pronounced dead at the scene.
The female passenger was transported to the San Juan Regional Medical Center where she is being treated for injuries she received as a result of the accident.
While the exact cause of the accident is still under investigation, initial investigation reveals that speed and alcohol appear to be a factor.