Artesia, NM Auto And Truck Crash, Jun 1974


Artesia, N.M. (AP) - A car-truck head-on collision near Artesia, which sheared the top of the car, killed eight persons including three runaway children.
Three other persons were injured in the Friday night crash on U.S. 285 six miles north of Artesia.
State policeman Billy J. Taylor of Roswell said it was "one of the gruesome accidents I've ever seen in my 15 years as an officer."
Officers said all but one of the dead were decapitated, as the 2 1/2 ton truck crashed through the top of the four-door, 1966 car after impact.
Four of the dead were tentatively identified by State Police as PAT BRIONES, 19, of Carlsbad; CHRIS RUIZ, 10, Carlsbad; CAROLINA RUIZ, 13, Carlsbad; and LIZE NUNEZ, 12, Carlsbad.
Police earlier listed Floyd and Carold Reneau of Roswell among the tentative identifications because the car was registered to Reneau. However, the Reneaus later were found in Roswell and hadn't been in the car.
That left four of the dead, two male and two female, unidentified.
City police in Carlsbad said CHRIS and CAROLINA RUIZ and LIZA NUNEZ were reported by parents as runaways Wednesday.
In the Artesia General Hospital was ROMULO RICO, 15, of Roswell, in serious condition after emergency surgery. Another teen ager, ELIZABETH SANCHEZ, 14, of Roswell, was transferred from the Artesia Hospital to Roswell's St. Mary's Hospital where she was reported in good condition after treatment for bruises and contusions. They were in the car carrying the eight persons who died.

Corsicana Daily Sun Texas 1974-06-16