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Boy, 12, dies in crash on U.S. 550

January 4, 2019

A 12-year-old boy was killed in a weather-related collision on U.S. 550 about 20 miles south of Cuba in Sandoval County, New Mexico State Police said Wednesday.

Alexander Steven Madsen of Albuquerque died Monday evening when the southbound sedan he was riding in was hit by a northbound pickup, state police said in a news release. The pickup had slid across the median on the icy road.

Two other passengers in the car and the pickup driver were treated for injuries that weren’t believed to be life-threatening, the statement said. Alcohol was not a factor in the crash, state police said.

U.S. 550, which for most of its length from Bernalillo to Colorado has only a narrow paved median separating its two northbound and two southbound lanes, has been one of the state’s deadliest highways.

A 2013 study for the state Department of Transportation proposed putting a concrete or cable barrier in the median as one of several steps to reduce the number of collisions caused by vehicles crossing the median into oncoming traffic.

The administration of former Gov. Susana Martinez, citing costs, resisted calls to install a barrier. Excessive speed for weather conditions has been blamed for many of the highway’s cross-traffic fatalities.

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