Police determine driver in wrong lane of fatal crash

CNJ Staff

State police have determined the vehicle driven by an 88-year-old Clovis man killed in a head-on collision last week was traveling in the lane of oncoming traffic.

Capt. Jimmy Glascock said evidence and witness statements led investigators to conclude Charles Sims was traveling north in the southbound lane on N.M. 209 Wednesday night when his 1996 Mercury four-door crashed into a southbound Nissan four-door driven by Sergio Mendoza-Ortega.

But what investigators may never know is why, Glascock said.

“Unfortunately, it is for an undetermined reason,” he said. “We don’t have a reason to explain why (Sims) was driving northbound in the southbound lane.”

The only survivor from the crash, Mendoza-Ortega, 21, was airlifted to a Lubbock hospital where a family member said his condition was improving Monday.

Carlos Bustillos, 26, and Jaime Bustillos, 20, his passengers, were killed.

The crash occurred around 5 p.m. in the area of Curry Road 21 and N.M. 209.

A driver came forward last week who had to take evasive action to avoid Sims’ vehicle prior to the wreck, Glascock said.

Police previously said the vehicles were traveling around the 65 mph posted limit in the area of the crash.