fiery crash this weekend on N.M. 47 just south of the Valenica Y.
At 3 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 5, a call came in to the Valencia Regional Emergency Communication Center reporting a two vehicle crash near the intersection of N.M. 47 and Roberto Road.
Witnesses told Valencia County Sheriff’s deputies a man on a Harley Davidson motorcycle was traveling southbound on the highway at speeds of almost double the posted limit, estimating he was going 90 mph.
At the same time, a man driving a Ford Ranger pickup was trying to turn north onto N.M. 47 from Roberto.
The motorcycle, driven by Martin Rael, 57, of Peralta, hit the front driver side door of the pickup, driven by Jerry Olguin, 93, of Los Lunas. The impact caused both vehicles to catch fire.
Motorists stopped at the scene and drug Rael from the fire, but he was pronounced dead at the scene. Olguin was thrown to the passenger side of the vehicle and those assisting could not reach him; he died at the scene as well.
New Mexico State Police will assist the Valencia County Sheriff’s Office in conducting a crash reconstruction investigation.
VCSO spokesman Lt. Joseph Rowland said during a typical crash reconstruction, investigators will pull the “black box” from the vehicles if they are available.
“Sometimes you can get the speed of the vehicle and other information about the vehicle at the time of the crash,” Rowland said.
Julia M. Dendinger began working at the VCNB in 2006. She covers Valencia County government, Belen Consolidated Schools and the village of Bosque Farms. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists Rio Grande chapter’s board of directors.