Press release: Officer on patrol involved in fatal accident

On Wednesday, November 17th, 2010, at approximately 9:40 PM, members of the Clovis Police Department were dispatched to the intersection of Grand Avenue and Sycamore Street on a report of an injury accident. One of the vehicles involved in the collision was a Clovis Police Department Patrol Vehicle.

Officer Stephen Gallegos was on routine patrol traveling eastbound on Grand Ave approaching Sycamore Street in his patrol vehicle. A Ford Ranger Pickup truck, driven by Ms. Edith Payton, age 40 of Clovis, was traveling north on Sycamore Street. Ms. Mary Castillo, age 56 of Clovis, was a passenger in the Ford Ranger.

A broadside collision took place between the two vehicles within the intersection. Ms. Payton and Ms. Castillo suffered major trauma and had to be extricated from the pickup truck.

Officer Gallegos, Ms. Payton and Ms. Castillo were transported to Plains Regional Medical Center for their injuries.

Ms. Payton and Ms. Castillo were later airlifted to University Hospital in critical condition. Officer Gallegos was treated and released with minor injuries.

On Thursday, November 18th, 2010, at 2:30 PM, the Clovis Police Department was notified Ms. Castillo had succumbed to her injuries at the University Hospital in Lubbock, Texas.

The incident is currently being investigated and prepared by the Clovis Police Department Technical Accident

Investigation Team to be reviewed by the 9th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

Chief Sanders and his entire staff want to extend their deepest sympathy and prayers to the family of Ms. Castillo.

He also said “Ms. Payton and her family will be in our thoughts and our prayers as we wish her a full recovery from the injuries she sustained.”