It was a typical newspaper article, the kind you’d likely see any day of the week, glance at, then move on to more compelling headlines. Following after yet another Friday night, it was all the more mundane. Besides, the state had had a rash of highway collisions, and this only added more statistics to an already-unaddressed pile of government data.
But there was someone out there who wouldn’t want to see this headline.
The Associated Press story read, “City Man Among Three Road Fatalities.” Despite the AP credit, it was a local story that ran on the front page of the Albuquerque Journal on February 5, 1966.
After a long week at work, making the long trip home on a Friday night along that monotonous U.S. Route 54, someone’s dad missed a curve in the road.
Three more victims, one of them a former Otero County sheriff and another an Albuquerque resident, have been added to the state's 1966 highway fatality toll.
Stevens, a salesman, was driving a late-model station-wagon when he failed to negotiate a curve. His vehicle left the roadway on the right hand side and then skidded across the highway to the left side.
Officers said the car crashed down a 12 foot embankment, rolled 2 1/2 times and came to rest on its top. Stevens died of head and internal injuries and was dead on arrival at an Alamogordo hospital, officers said.