Crash outside of Canyon claims the lives of two Portales women

Two women from Portales, New Mexico are dead and a Canyon teen was hurt in a head-on crash on I-27 north Thursday morning.

According to DPS, at approximately 2:30 a.m., a 2018 Ford F-150 driven by Rayna Smith, 18, of Canyon, was traveling southbound (the wrong direction) in the left lane of northbound I-27, approaching the McCormick Road overpass, which is about three miles south of Amarillo.

A 2022 Nissan Sentra was traveling northbound on I-27 in the left lane, also approaching the McCormick Road overpass. The vehicles traveled over the McCormick Road overpass at the same time and crashed head-on in the left lane.

The Ford pickup came to rest in the left lane and left shoulder, facing southeast, and it caught fire after impact. The Nissan spun around and was pushed backwards by the impact and came to rest on the right shoulder facing north. 

A first responder was able to pull the driver from the pickup before it became fully engulfed with flames. 

The occupants of the Nissan, Alicia Bustos, 21, and Analuisa Mendoza, 21, were pronounced dead at the scene by Randall County Justice of the Peace Tracy Byrd. Both were wearing seat belts.

Smith was taken to Baptist St. Anthony’s in Amarillo with serious injuries, where she is in stable condition. She was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.

The posted speed limit was 75 mph, and road conditions were dry and clear. According to DPS, alcohol is believed to be a factor in the crash.

This crash remains under investigation by the Texas Highway Patrol Troopers.

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