By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer
Community members are pulling together to help a family devastated by a crash Friday that killed an 11-year-old girl and hospitalized her two younger brothers.
State Sen. Clint Harden, R-Clovis, said the children’s mother, Mary Trujillo, has worked for him at his Twin Cronies restaurant for nearly 20 years, most recently as a kitchen manager.
Harden said he has known Trujillo since she was a teen, knows her family and has stayed in close contact with Trujillo since the crash.
Police said Trujillo and her four children were in a 2001 Chrysler minivan traveling south on State Road 268 approximately 15 miles north of Melrose when Trujillo lost control of the vehicle and it rolled three times.
Sonya Trujillo and her two younger brothers, 8-year-old Joe Trujillo and 6-year-old Angelo Trujillo were thrown from the minivan.
Sonya died later at Plains Regional Medical Center.
Joe and Angelo were taken to a Lubbock hospital where they were in critical condition.
Harden said Joe’s condition has improved, however as of Tuesday afternoon, Angelo was not showing any signs of improvement.
The tragedy has gripped the Trujillo family, Harden said.
“(Mary’s) doing as you and I might were it to happen to us — coping one step at a time I think,” Harden said Tuesday.
“She has a very extensive support system around her, a very large family and of course our family, the Twin Cronies family.”
Harden said Trujillo was returning from Tucumcari, where she had picked up her daughter Angelina Montano, 17, who attends a school for the deaf in Santa Fe and comes home to Clovis on the weekends.
Referring to Montano as “heroic,” Harden said the teen crawled through a broken window after the crash, found her unconscious mother and brothers and tried to help them while she called 911.
“You’ve heard the saying ‘I complained when I had no shoes until I met a man that had no feet,’” he said. “Well, I’m sure there’s worse, but nothing’s come to my mind so far.”
Harden said Twin Cronies has established a bank account for donations to help offset the financial challenges the single mother and her children are facing.
Donations can be made at The Bank of Clovis in the name of Mary Trujillo.