Family friends mourn after fatal crash on U.S. 550

Kasia Gregorczyk
May 17, 2017 07:04 AM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Close friends of the family killed in a horrible crash on U.S. 550 over the weekend are still reeling from the news, but they're doing their best to honor a family they say was as close to perfect as a family can get.


Kristen Thornburg recalls the moment she knew something was terribly wrong.

"We waited and waited and waited and were concerned because they're not late," she said. "At all. Ever."

Thornburg, a family friend, was at a soccer game Saturday afternoon where Jimmie and Melissa Crawford were to arrive with their two young children Grant and Chace. It wasn't until hours later she and others learned the horrific news the family had been hit and killed by a work truck on their way to Bernalillo.

“We all just broke down,” Thornburg said.

According to those who knew them best, a family like the Crawford’s is unforgettable. Thornburg calls them “the kind of people that you don’t come across very often in your life.”

Jimmie was a retired firefighter and continued to work to support his family. Melissa was a stay at home mom full of love and joy.

“She lived her life by the gospel of Christ and she spoke volumes without saying a word,” Thornburg said.

She said Grant was a fun little boy full of energy and Chace was adored by all the soccer moms.

Authorities believe alcohol was a factor in the crash that claimed the family's lives and that the driver of the work truck, Paul Ortega, had two previous DWI’s, both dismissed in 2012.

Services for the Crawford family are still being planned. But in the meantime, anyone looking to help the family can find their GoFundMe page here.


Kasia Gregorczyk

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved




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