Home New mexico real estate New Mexico DOT worker killed in traffic accident near Artesia

New Mexico DOT worker killed in traffic accident near Artesia


ARTESIA, NM (AP) – A tanker truck crashed at a highway construction site in southeastern New Mexico, hitting a Department of Transportation pickup and pushing it toward another while fatally injuring an employee long-time DOT official, authorities said.

Authorities said the employee killed on Monday on US 285 between Artesia and Roswell was Mittie Runyan, 58, an Artesia resident who began working for the state in 2000.

Two other DOT employees were able to jump into the bed of one of the pickup trucks in the crash, but they were also injured, New Mexico state police said in a statement.

The identities of these two workers and the details of their injuries were not disclosed.

Runyan’s truck flashed its safety lights when it was from behind as the crew installed reflectors on a recently resurfaced stretch of highway, according to a department statement.

“This painful loss will reverberate across the state,” Transportation Secretary Mike Sandoval said. “We are a tight knit group and we all cry when we lose one of our own.”

The driver of the tanker was not injured. The identity of that person will only be released if he is charged in the accident, according to the state police statement.

The accident was under investigation, but alcohol does not appear to be a factor, state police said.