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State police identify man killed in Saturday crash

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New Mexico State Police have disclosed the name of a man who died in a fatal crash Saturday evening on U.S. 285 south of Roswell.

Gilardo Padilla, 74, of Dexter, who was a passenger in a 2006 Chrysler passenger van, died from injuries he sustained in a two-vehicle collision that occurred at about 5:30 p.m. near milepost 96, according to a press release issued Monday by State Police.

Padilla and the driver of the Chrysler were both transported to a local hospital to be treated for their injuries. The Office of the Medical Investigator subsequently pronounced Padilla deceased at the hospital, while the 50-year-old female driver of the Chrysler received what are believed to be non-life-threatening injuries.

The 25-year-old man from Roswell who was the driver of a 2014 Jeep Cherokee which collided with the Chrysler was not injured, the release states.

Early findings from the investigation of the crash suggest that in the moments before the crash, the Chrysler was heading north in the northbound lane when it turned from the right lane into the left lane in order to make a left turn onto West Orchard Park Road, when the vehicle failed to yield to the jeep which was traveling north in the left lane.

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“The jeep rear-ended the Chrysler, and it went into the median and rolled into the southbound lanes of U.S. 285,” the press release states.

Alcohol does not appear to have been a factor. The drivers of both vehicles wore seat belts, according to the release, but Padilla does not appear to have been properly wearing one.

The investigation into the crash by state police remains ongoing, according to the press release.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301 or breakingnews@rdrnews.com.