From left, NMSP Chief Pete Kassetas, top row Officer Joseph Mason, Deputy Giovani Ramirez, Officer Colter Childress, DPS Secretary Gorden E. Eden. Bottom row, Officer Allison Blake, Officer Jacob Tubbs, Deputy Tasheena Montoya. (Courtesy Photo)
Six cadets from Roswell who are attending the Law Enforcement Academy in Santa Fe were honored Thursday by Department of Public Safety Cabinet Secretary Gorden E. Eden for assisting the New Mexico State Police with a fatal single-car rollover accident that occurred on Aug. 30.
According to the information released at the time of the accident, officers from the NMSP responded to the crash around 5:20 p.m. on US 285 near mile marker 176 within Lincoln County, some 60 miles north of Roswell. The car involved was driven by 34-year-old Stephanie Delara of Andrews, Texas. Delara and her two daughters, 5-year-old Jolysa Cerezo and 3-year-old Deveney Cerezo were traveling northbound on US 285. The vehicle drifted off the roadway into the center dirt median and over corrected, causing the vehicle to overturn several times.
The 5-year-old was ejected from the vehicle and succumbed to her injuries while being airlifted to University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque. The 3-year-old was transported by ambulance to Eastern New Mexico Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries. Emergency personnel had to extricate the driver from the vehicle. She too was airlifted to UNM Hospital
The six cadets were driving home from LEA when they observed the rescue efforts at the scene. “I am very proud of all six of them, my three and the three from the RPD,” said Chaves County Sheriff Rob Coon. “They did CPR and administered First Aid.”
The DPS stated that the cadets assisted the NMSP officer, who was the first to arrive, by directing vehicle traffic around the accident, assisted in the investigation, rendered First Aid, including CPR for several minutes to the 5-year-old girl.
The Cadets from Class 186 were listed as Deputies Colter Childress, Tasheena Montoya, and Giovani Ramirez from the Chaves County Sheriff’s Office and RPD officers Allison Blake, Joseph Mason, and Jacob Tubbs.
“It’s indicative of the high caliber people that the Sheriff’s Office and the police department are hiring now,” said Coon.
NMSP Chief Pete Kassetas said: “I was honored to be in attendance and was able to thank the cadets. I advised the entire cadet class that it’s this type of working relationship between agencies we all strive for and appreciate.”
Each cadet received a certificate that read, “In recognition and appreciation of your exceptional courage, control and selfless professionalism on Aug. 30, 2013, while assisting the New Mexico State Police with a fatal rollover accident on SR 285. Your outstanding performance is in keeping with the finest traditions of Law Enforcement.” The cadets also received a special DPS challenge coin.