Four people injured in rollover

Two people were transported to a Lubbock hospital for advanced medical treatment following a one-vehicle rollover Tuesday night near the corner of Brady and Wheaton streets, according to emergency officials. CNJ staff photo: Eric Kluth.

By Darrell Todd Maurina: CNJ staff writer

Two Clovis residents were transported to a Lubbock hospital after a four-passenger vehicle flipped in Curry County late Tuesday night.
All three passengers were ejected from the vehicle, but not the driver. Curry County Sheriff Roger Hatcher said those ejected were “extremely, extremely lucky” to survive the crash that flipped their SUV at least five times.
“These are what I call the 5 percent group,” Hatcher said. “There is about a 95 percent chance if you are ejected you are going to die.”
Two of the passengers were transported by ambulance to Plains Regional Medical Center where they were treated and released. The driver of the yellow 2003 Ford Escape SUV and another passenger weren’t so lucky, and Hatcher said they were transported for advanced medical treatment to Lubbock.
Identities of the four patients were still unavailable Wednesday evening due to uncertainty about whether relatives had been notified, but Hatcher confirmed that all were from the Clovis area and none were wearing their seatbelts. The driver was a 29-year-old female and the passengers were two 16-year-old males and one 15-year-old male.
Battalion Chief Ike Burns of the Clovis Fire Department said the crash happened about 9:08 p.m. near the corner of Brady and Wheaton streets, just outside the Clovis city limits. When firefighters and ambulance crews arrived, they found the vehicle about 50 feet off the road.
Burns said firefighters had to use the Jaws of Life to extract the driver.
Hatcher said preliminary investigation showed the vehicle driver was driving westbound on Brady. While trying to avoid a head-on collision, she swerved, hit an embankment and flipped into the field.
“According to witnesses, the vehicle was trying to pass another vehicle and going at an excessive rate of speed,” Hatcher said. “Apparently the driver panicked and tried to turn off the road.”
All four people in the vehicle received citations for not wearing seatbelts, with possible additional charges pending review by the district attorney, according to the Curry County Sheriff’s Office.