Three people died and six were airlifted to an Amarillo hospital Monday in two separate accidents just west of Tucumcari on I-40, according to a press release from the New Mexico State Police.
Laura Bell Taylor, 74, and Joy Harjo, 13, both of Oklahoma, died after Talesse Lynette Sigilai, 51, driver of the 1995 Oldsmobile mini-van, fell asleep at the wheel at 4:51 a.m. about three miles west of Tucumcari.
Sigilai and four other passengers (Hope Harjo, 11, Patients Harjo, 9, Faith Harjo, 16, and mother Beverly Harjo, 45) were airlifted to North West Texas hospital in Amarillo.
Beverly and one of her daughters — name not released — were in critical condition at 11:45 p.m. Monday evening, hospital officials said. The other two daughters were in stable condition.
Sigilai’s condition was not known by the paper’s deadline.
Skid marks on the roadway indicate Sigilai over-corrected, causing the vehicle to roll in a clockwise direction, when five of the passengers were ejected from the vehicle, according to the release.
In a separate incident at noon Monday, Jessica Lynfield Werner, 40, of New Orleans, died after she lost control of her 2000 Nissan pickup, causing the vehicle to roll onto its roof about 10 miles west of Tucumcari.
Werner lost control of her car due to tread peeling off the right rear tire, according to the release.
Jack T. Werner, 4, was airlifted to North West Texas hospital, according to the release. Emma N. Werner, 11, was treated and released from Trigg Hospital in Tucumcari.
North West Texas hospital officials said late Monday evening Jack was not in the hospital and may have been released, but they couldn’t be certain.