News release regarding fatal accident

Editor’s note: The following statement about a fatal car accident was received Sunday afternoon from Capt. Lonnie Berry via e-mail under the heading news release.

On Sunday October 19, 2008, at approximately 740am, Portales Police Officer Leslie Tibbs observed a 2000 Plymouth 4 door car east bound on Spruce street. Officer Tibbs was driving towards the car and saw it leave the pavement and the reenter the roadway.

Officer Tibbs turned his car around and attempted to catch up to the vehicle to make a traffic stop. The Plymouth turned South on Avenue A and accelerated, running through two posted stop signs. The Plymouth struck a tree at the intersection of Maple and Avenue A. Both the driver and passenger were trapped in the vehicle. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene, the passenger was removed from the car, then airlifted to Lubbock Methodist Hospital. The Passenger is listed in serious but stable condition. The driver is identified as Miguel Ornales of Portales, with a date of birth of 03-23-1983. The passenger is identified as Celio Salazar also of Portales with a date of birth of 10-21-1978. The investigation as to possible factors causing the accident continues.