Wife alleges negligence in husband’s death

CNJ staff

The wife of a Clovis man killed in a collision with a city fire truck on June 19 has filed a lawsuit, alleging negligence caused LaRoy Lockmiller’s death.

Clovis attorney Michael T. Garrett filed the lawsuit on Thursday in district court. Filed on behalf of Deanna Lockmiller, It names only the city of Clovis as defendant.

City officials did not return a phone call seeking comment.

LaRoy Lockmiller, 64, was killed about 2:30 p.m. on June 19 after his GMC pickup truck was involved in a wreck with a fire truck on a county road northwest of Clovis. The fire truck, driven by Robert Seno, was on its way to a wheat-field fire. No other injuries were reported.

Lockmiller was checking his own property next to the wheat-field fire when he drove into a “smoke plume,” on Curry Road 18, the lawsuit alleges. Lockmiller stopped his vehicle, according to the lawsuit, but it was hit by the fire truck and knocked “80 feet before it came to rest.”

Lockmiller was killed in the collision.

The lawsuit asks for unspecified damages.

A New Mexico State Police investigation following the accident showed neither driver was at fault. It cited a narrow road, low visibility and an extreme weight difference between the vehicles as factors in the accident.

State Police Patrolman Lance Bateman estimated the fire truck was traveling 25-to-30 mph when the collision occurred. No determination was made if Lockmiller’s pickup was moving, but Bateman said heavy damage to the steering column suggests it could have been traveling between 10 mph and 15 mph at the time of the accident.

At least six fire units from various community fire departments and one from Cannon Air Force Base responded to the grass fire, which took hours to subdue and consumed about 640 acres of land before it could be extinguished.

— Staff reports