Teen thrown from truck, dies

Freedom New Mexico

Police said a 14-year-old girl was killed Wednesday morning when the wind caught a mattress she was sitting on in the bed of a pickup truck and threw her from the vehicle.

Curry County Undersheriff Wesley Waller said deputies were called to State Road 523 (East 21st Street) between Curry roads E and D just before 11 a.m.

Casandra Garza of Texico was pronounced dead at the scene.

Garza was holding down mattresses while riding in the bed of a half-ton 2002 Chevrolet pickup being driven by her mother, Christine Uballe, 39, also of Texico, Waller said.

Waller said the pair, in the process of moving from one Texico residence to another, were eastbound with mattresses they had just picked up from a Clovis storage unit.

“It appears that the wind caught the top mattress that Ms. Garza was leaning on and caused Ms. Garza and the mattress to be thrown from the vehicle,” Waller said.

Waller said the incident is being classified as a vehicular accident even though there was no crash involved.

He declined to specify the speed of the vehicle at the time of the accident. The posted speed limit is 55 mph.

Waller declined to discuss specifics of the fatality, citing an ongoing investigation.

Under state statute, minors are required to be restrained in a vehicle by a child safety seat or seat belt at all times.

The penalty for a violation of the safety belt law or improperly restrained child is a $25 fine.