Illinois woman dies in rollover

Freedom Newspapers

A one-vehicle rollover accident Friday near Portales claimed the life of an Illinois woman, according to a New Mexico State Police press release.

The driver, Velma Joanne Smith, 72, of Granite City, Ill., was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident, the release stated. Passengers Jerry Talmadge, 62, and Marilyn Talmadge, 56, of Pontoon Beach, Ill., were transported to Roosevelt General Hospital in Portales with extensive injuries, the release stated.

The accident occurred about 10 miles southwest of Portales on U.S. 70, the release stated.

Smith was traveling east on U.S. 70 in a 2005 Chevrolet Trailblazer when it went off the roadway onto the south shoulder, the release stated. The driver over-corrected to the left, causing the vehicle to cross into the median where it began overturning. It came to rest in the westbound lane, the release stated.

Smith was ejected from the vehicle, the release stated.