CIBOLA COUNTY - Julia Christina Ortiz, 16, died from injuries sustained during a single-vehicle accident that occurred about one mile past the Western New Mexico Corrections Facility on Lobo Canyon Road at about 11 a.m., Wed., Sept. 26.
According to Tony Mace, undersheriff for Cibola County Sheriff’s Office, officers at that scene determined that Ortiz might have driven slightly off the shoulder.
In her attempt to get the vehicle back onto the road she may have over-corrected, causing the small Geo-Tracker to swerve back onto the road.
She lost control, which caused the vehicle to rollover, according to law enforcement officials.
Ortiz was ejected from the vehicle and sustained a serious head injury. Alcohol was not involved in the incident, according to officers.
Mace reported that the driver had a provisional license and was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident.
Upon their arrival on the scene, Mount Taylor Ambulance Service staff requested PHI Air Medical for medical assistance. She was then airlifted to the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque.
Ortiz died at the UNM hospital on Sept. 27.
The young woman was home schooled and had achieved high school status as a senior.
See the obituary in today’s Beacon on page 2.