CLOVIS, NM (Eastern New Mexico News) — A head-on vehicle collision near 21st Street and Dominion Way on Dec. 6 resulted in the death of a 6-year-old Clovis girl, police reports show.
Kenedi Bender died from blunt head and neck trauma, according to the Office of the Medical Investigator. Two drivers were transported to Plains Regional Medical Center, complaining of arm, neck and chest pains.
No criminal charges have been filed in connection with the child’s death, though the investigation is ongoing. Interim Police Chief Roy Rice said evidence has been sent to a lab and a decision will be made on charges after lab results are known.
Police released the crash reports on Thursday in response to a public records request from The Eastern New Mexico News. Police previously had said only that three vehicles were involved and did not release the victim’s name or details about the crash.
A report filed by Clovis Police Officer Thomas Colvin showed the driver of a white Chevrolet pickup struck a black GMC SUV, then collided with the red 2021 Jeep Wrangler in which the child was a passenger.
The driver of the SUV was making a right turn onto Dominion Way when hit by the pickup. The driver of the Jeep told police she was driving west when the pickup came into her lane. “(The Jeep’s driver) said that she thinks the truck was trying to go around a different vehicle,” according to a report filed by CPD Officer Dagoberto Rodriguez.
“The driver of the truck and the driver of the Jeep both tried getting out of the way by going into the north grass area and then crashed into each other,” Rodriguez’s report reads.
The driver of the pickup told police a vehicle in front of her “stopped suddenly” and she moved to the left to avoid the vehicle. That’s when she saw the Jeep and attempted to avoid it by driving into the grass on the north side of the roadway.
Colvin’s report shows the pickup truck driver’s brakes were not engaged until after impact with the Jeep.
The child was pronounced dead after arrival at PRMC.
The crash was reported at 2:56 p.m. on Dec. 6.
All drivers involved with the crash are cooperating with investigators, police have said.
Written by Eastern New Mexico News Staff