A four-mile portion of U.S. Highway 70 in southeast New Mexico will be named after two Roswell natives and state policemen who lost their lives in a helicopter crash. The highway dedication will commemorate Patrolman Damon Talbott and Patrolman Ramon Robert Solis. Both Solis and Talbott were based in Roswell.
The medical helicopter crashed east of Roswell around 3:40 p.m. on Oct. 19, 2001. The helicopter, owned by Eastern New Mexico Medical Center, was returning from a training exercise. Two others were seriously injured in the accident.
New Mexico State Transportation Commissioners approved the naming the portion of the highway the “Patrolman Damon Talbott and Patrolman Ramon Robert Solis Memorial Highway” during their monthly meeting held in Las Cruces on Thursday.
At the time of the accident, Talbott, 21, was the youngest state police officer ever to die on duty. Talbott was born on Nov. 5, 1979. He graduated from Roswell High School in 1998 and attended Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell for two years. He joined the New Mexico State Police Academy in 2000 and graduated from the 64th New Mexico State Police Recruit School in December of that same year.
Ramon Robert Solis was 30 at the time of his death. He was born in Roswell on Jan. 17, 1971. His family and friends called him “Veto.” Solis attended Pecos Elementary School, Mesa Middle School and Goddard High School. He graduated in 1989. He went on to attend New Mexico Military Institute and New Mexico State University. He served in the United States Army and United States Army National Guard. In December 2000, Robert graduated from the 64th New Mexico State Police Recruit School.
“The dedication is a fitting tribute to these two law enforcement officers who gave their lives for the citizens of New Mexico,” said Transportation Commission Chairman and District Three Representative Pete Rahn. “The commission is proud to dedicate this highway in their honor.”
Transportation Secretary Alvin Dominguez said, “Solis and Talbott served their community in an exceptional manner and will always be remembered for their dedication and distinguished service. The Department applauds the commission’s approval of the dedication and will work closely with the community to plan an appropriate dedication of this highway.”