| Read Time: 2 minutes | Accidents In New Mexico

Santa Fe County, NM (Aug 21, 2023) New Mexico State Police are investigating a fatal crash in Santa Fe County involving three cars that left one person dead. The accident happened Sunday afternoon on US 285 north of Clines Corners at around 2:00 PM.

According to police, a 2015 Lexus was traveling south on the interstate. For unknown reasons, the Lexus attempted to pass a vehicle in the northbound lane, causing a head-on crash with a 2020 Ford F150 pickup truck.

The Ford pickup truck was being followed by a 2021 Toyota passenger car, which was also involved in the collision. The Office of the Medical Investigator declared Leticia Lancaster-Valois (66), a passenger in the Lexus, dead at the scene. She was from Oklahoma City.

All other drivers and passengers involved in the crash were sent to a nearby hospital. Their health status is unclear.

Alcohol was not a contributing factor in the crash, and seatbelts were worn correctly. The crash is under investigation.

Source: New Mexico State Police

Our Hearts Go Out to the Victim and Their Family

At Tawney, Acosta & Chaparro P.C., our attorneys offer their condolences to those who lost a loved one in this crash. While the investigation is not yet complete, we hope that the exact cause can be determined by investigators. If they find that negligence was a factor, the responsible party should be held accountable, especially if this death was preventable. 

The Rights of Surviving Family Members After an Accident Death

Following a fatal accident, the surviving family members of the deceased often don’t know what their legal options are. After these crashes, many families choose to file a wrongful death claim for the loss of their loved one. This type of claim, while similar to a personal injury filing, is different in a few distinct ways. First, the purpose of wrongful death is to compensate the family for their loss. Second, the damages available to the family are different.

Generally, wrongful death claims are divided into economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are the tangible, financial losses of the family, while non-economic damages are intangible emotional and physical losses. Some examples of available damages include:

  • Funeral expenses,
  • Loss of financial support,
  • Loss of consortium,
  • Loss of love and guidance,
  • Mental anguish, and
  • Pain and suffering.

While these damages can’t ever replace a life, they are some of the few options that families have of recovering after a tragic loss. 

If You Lost a Loved One in a Crash, Don’t Fight It Alone; Call Tawney, Acosta & Chaparro P.C.

Whether you lost a loved one in this fatal car accident in Socorro County or a different crash, our attorneys are here for you. At Tawney, Acosta & Chaparro P.C., we have dedicated our practice to helping those affected by negligence. With recognition from Super Lawyers, The National Advocates, and other legal organizations, we know what it takes to fight for our clients. To schedule a free case review, please call us at 575-222-1000. We welcome clients throughout the state of New Mexico.

Author Photo

James Tawney

James Tawney is a native of the Southwest dedicated to serving his community. He was born and raised in Arizona where he attended Northern Arizona University where he received his undergraduate degree. James then went on to attend Texas Tech University School of Law in Lubbock, Texas. In 2016, he, along with fellow plaintiff’s attorney Alejandro Acosta, founded Flores, Tawney & Acosta, P.C. with offices located in Las Cruces and Carlsbad, New Mexico, and El Paso, Texas.

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