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Las Cruces High School student dies in crash


LAS CRUCES, NM - Las Cruces Public Schools on Monday confirmed the death of Las Cruces High School student Samantha Bursum. The 14-year-old was killed en route to a volleyball tournament in Midland, TX Friday night according to a news release from the school district. District spokeswoman Kelly Jameson told KRWG Public Media the trip was not school-sponsored. Bursum also participated in marching band and student government. LCPS Superintendent Ignacio Ruiz said, "Our hearts are with the Bursum family and the Bulldawg community. Right now, we are focused on how to best support them in their grief. We are devastated by this loss, and send our love to Samantha’s family, including her older sister who was also one of our LCPS students.”

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, the car Bursum was riding in, a 2016 Toyota SUV, collided with a vehicle that was involved in a previous crash on I-20 East at mile marker 73 near Pecos, Texas. That vehicle, a 2008 Cadillac CTS driven by 25-year-old Isaac Mendoza of Pecos, was disabled in the roadway with no lights when it was hit by the Toyota, driven by 50-year-old Loretta Keleher Wills of Las Cruces. The Texas DPS says Mendoza and Wills suffered serious injuries and they, along with Bursum, were taken to Ward Memorial Hospital in Pecos. Bursum was pronounced deceased at the hospital.

During spring break and the intersession, Ben Archer School Based Health Clinic offers counseling services to LCPS students and staff. To request to speak with a counselor, students, staff and families can call (575) 541-5941. For immediate support, please text 741741 or access the crisis text line directly through the LCPS STOPit app.

KC Counts has been broadcasting to Southern New Mexico and West Texas audiences for over 30 years. KC is up early with listeners for "Morning Edition" weekdays, "Performance Today" from 9-11, "Here and Now" from 12-2, and on Saturdays. You might also see her on KRWG-TV.