Fatal crash leaves one Clovis teen dead, another injured

CNJ staff

A one-vehicle crash north of Clovis early Saturday morning left one Clovis teen dead and another in critical condition.
Adam Romero, 15, the passenger, died at the scene of the crash, according to Sgt. Wesley Waller of the New Mexico State Police.

The driver, Charles Valero, 16, of Clovis, was in critical condition following the accident, Waller said. Waller said Valero was transported to Plains Regional Medical Center.

Valero was driving a 1994 Mazda Protege northbound on County Road M about 3:20 a.m. when he lost control of the vehicle, police said. The vehicle left the road and rolled over multiple times before coming to rest about 200 feet away in a field.

Romero was thrown from the vehicle. Valero was able to exit the wreck and walked to a nearby house to get help. Waller said Valero suffered head injuries.

Neither was wearing a seat belt, police said.

Waller said police believe excessive speed and alcohol were factors in the accident, but he declined to elaborate.

Friends and classmates remembered Romero as a humorous guy who possessed the gift of making others feel better.

“He had the quirkiest personality. He was more considerate of other people than himself,” said Elise Parker, a sophomore at Clovis High School. “If he knew you were having a bad day he would come up to you and make you smile and laugh.”

Senior Aaron Rooks described Romero as a cool guy whom people wanted to be around.

“He was nice and funny,” Rooks said, “just one of those cool people you always want to hang out with.”

Efforts to contact members of the Valero family were not successful on Saturday night.