Teens remain hospitalized

CNJ staff

An early Sunday morning accident that claimed two lives and sent three to the hospital is still being investigated by New Mexico State Police, officials said.

Aaron LaRue, 17, of Clovis and Dathan Garcia, 17, of Tucumcari were killed in the accident, which happened south of Portales.

The driver of the truck, Travis Belcher, 17, was taken to Covenant Medical Center in Lubbock on Sunday and has already been released, hospital officials said. His brother Layton Belcher remained in critical condition Monday night, hospital officials said. Joni Brakebill, 17, was in stable condition following leg surgery Monday, her mother said.

Family members said the teens may have been chasing animals through an open field when the truck hit Roosevelt County Road 20, became airborne and struck a 3-foot dirt embankment on the south side of the road.