By Christina Calloway
PNT senior writer
Adrienne Trujillo was a caring person with a goofy side who wore her heart on her sleeve, according to family and friends. Padyn Reanell Hughes was outgoing and always having a positive outlook on life.
The two Eastern New Mexico University students were killed Sunday evening after being ejected from a rolling vehicle in Quay County, according to New Mexico State Police. Trujillo of Clayton was 19 and Hughes of Bovina was 20.
“She always put her family first,” said Trujillo’s cousin, Bianca Trujillo, about the former high school athlete who wanted to be a coach. “She was a good person to talk to and a good listener.”
Hughes’ friend, Xaavion Mims, said Hughes is known for being reliable and caring.
Adrienne Trujillo and Hughes were passengers in a 2003 Chevy SUV driven by 19-year-old Marisa Cruz of Clovis, who sustained non life-threatening injuries in the one-vehicle accident.
According to police, the trio were traveling southbound on N.M. 469 just before 6 p.m. Sunday when the vehicle veered off the east side of the roadway and rolled twice.
Trujillo and Hughes were not wearing seat belts and were ejected from the vehicle, according to police, and died on the scene from their injuries. Police said Cruz was wearing a seat belt.
Sgt. Emmanuel Guttierez with state police added that the cause of the accident has not been determined but said alcohol was not a factor.
ENMU President Steven Gamble said a vigil will be held for the two students, but not date has been set.
“We are greatly saddened by the passing of these two students. Every student we have is so important to us, and to lose two of them is tragic,” Gamble said.
Bianca Trujillo, 22, said the girls were traveling from Clayton, where they spent the weekend with Trujillo’s family and attended a Halloween party.
Adrienne Trujillo was only a few weeks shy of turning 20, her family says. She was studying special education at ENMU and aspired to be a coach. Her favorite sports were basketball, volleyball and track.
Mims, 20, said she met Padyn her first semester at ENMU in the Campus Union Building and the two created a sisterly bond.
“She was fun. She was real outgoing and accepting of who I was and where I came from,” said Mims, who is from Lubbock. “She really was a good friend.”
Bianca Trujillo said coaching is in her cousin’s blood because both of her parents were coaches.
Adrienne Trujillo is the youngest of three children and has more than 60 cousins, according to Bianca Trujillo. She added when her cousin was younger, she loved to sing, especially the songs of Mexican-American singer Selena.
“She had a huge heart,” said Bianca Trujillo, fighting back tears. “You could tell her anything really. She wasn’t judgmental about anything you told her. She’s a lot of fun to be around.”
Although Adrienne Trujillo hated hugs, according to her cousin, Bianca Trujillo wishes she could give her a big hug one last time.
“I had to force her to get a hug,” Bianca Trujillo joked.