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Alcohol may be factor in U.S. 550 crash that kills 5, sheriff’s office says

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Authorities believe alcohol was a factor in a fiery head-on Friday night crash that left five people dead, including a baby and toddler, in Sandoval County.

The names of those involved were not released, pending notification of their families.

The collision happened shortly after 8 p.m. when a vehicle described as “a large work truck” traveling north on U.S. 550 about 15 miles south of Cuba crossed lanes into oncoming traffic and hit a Chevrolet Tahoe sport-utility vehicle, Sandoval County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Lt. Keith Elder said in a news release issued Saturday.

Both vehicles were severely damaged, and the Tahoe, which was carrying two adults, a toddler and an infant, caught fire.

“None of the occupants of the Tahoe were able to escape the vehicle and perished in the fire,” Elder said.

Four people were in the work truck: the driver died at the scene, one passenger was taken by air to the hospital, and the two others were taken by ground to the hospital. Their conditions were not immediately known on Saturday.

While the cause of the crash had not been determined and was still under investigation, Elder said, “Alcohol is believed to be a factor in the crash.”

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