Police investigate a triple fatal crash in Socorro County

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Law enforcement responded to the scene of a single vehicle crash on U.S. Highway 60 approximately 7:23 a.m. Sept. 1, according to a release from the New Mexico Department of Public Safety.

New Mexico State Police and the Socorro County Sheriff’s Department received the call about 7 a.m. and responded, deputy Ed Sweeney said.

The crash, near mile marker 123 approximately 10 miles west of Socorro, involved a 1998 Dodge pickup driven by 42-year-old Fred Apachito, of Magdalena, according to the release.

Initial investigation determined Apachito and eight other passengers in the vehicle were traveling westbound on U.S. 60. Apachito may have fallen asleep, and the vehicle crossed onto the eastbound lane of traffic. The vehicle then struck a culvert on the shoulder of the roadway, causing it to roll once.

Of the nine occupants, three were killed; three were airlifted to University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque in critical condition; and the remaining three are at Socorro General Hospital in stable to serious condition.

The occupants killed have been identified as Fred Apachito; his daughter-in-law Delrena Apachito, 25, of Magdalena; and Shaijon Apachito, 3, of Magdalena, Delrena’s son and Fred’s grandson. It was also confirmed that Delrena Apachito was five months’ pregnant.

One man in his 20s and two girls, ages 2 and 14, were transported to UNMH. Three women in their 20s and late 40s were transported to Socorro General Hospital.

Alcohol does not appear to be a contributing factor to this crash, according to the release.

None of the occupants were utilizing seat belts or car seats, Sweeney said, adding the vehicle was an extended cab pickup and some passengers were riding in the bed of the truck.