Accident claims Portales teen

Freedom Newspapers

A Portales teen died in a car accident Sunday morning 10 miles east of Roswell near Bottomless Lakes State Park on N.M. 409, according to a New Mexico State Police press release.

Austin Inge, 15, was driving a 1995 Dodge pickup with 28-year-old Ben Finch, of Hagerman, in the passenger seat when the pickup veered off the eastern edge of the roadway, the press release said.

The vehicle was headed south when it hit a concrete bridge barrier. As a result of the impact, the vehicle ignited and became consumed by fire, the press release said.

Both Inge and Finch were pronounced dead at the scene by Deputy Medical Investigator Sharon Berry.

Investigation is ongoing as to the cause of the fatal crash, the release said.

Inge was spending the summer in Hagerman working on a small hay farm and living with close family friends Arlys and Glen Finch, according to Inge’s mother, Dori Inge of Portales.