Torrance County – At approximately 7:00 a.m. this morning, State Police Officers responded to the scene of a single vehicle crash, on I-40 approximately 2 miles west of Moriarty.
Officers arrived on scene and found a blue 1998 Ford Ranger truck on its top near the right of way fence on the north side of the eastbound lanes of I-40. The vehicle had been traveling eastbound on I-40. The vehicle was driven by Patrick Ortiz (25) of Moriarty.
It appears Mr. Ortiz may have fallen asleep as he was operating the vehicle due to tires marks on the roadway gradually leaving the roadway and then a sudden overcorrection caused him to lose control as it re-entered the roadway. During the process of the vehicle rolling over 3 times, Mr. Ortiz was ejected from the vehicle.
The driver Patrick Ortiz succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased at the scene.
Contributing factors in this crash have been identified as driver fatigue and failure to utilize occupant restraints.
Alcohol was not a contributing factor.
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Contact: Lieutenant Robert McDonald