LAS CRUCES, NM (KTSM) — A Oñate High School student and football player was the person killed in Saturday morning’s crash in Las Cruces, the team confirmed via Twitter.
Luis Mendez, 18, died around 4 a.m. Saturday on Bataan Memorial Highway West near Sonoma Ranch Boulevard in a two-vehicle crash. MaxPreps lists Mendez as a junior who played wide receiver and defensive back on the team’s varsity team.
Las Cruces Police have yet to say what led up to the crash and have not formally identified Mendez as the person who died in the crash.
The investigation closed a portion of Bataan Memorial for much of Saturday as LCPD worked to recreate the events leading up to the crash. Police also asked the person who initially witnessed the crash and called 911 to contact them.
The football team made the initial announcement Saturday evening on Twitter and quickly received responses of support from teams across the state of New Mexico, including Las Cruces High, Volcano Vista, and Roswell High.
Mendez’s aunt said Mendez was “funny, loving, caring, full of joy and laughter,” in a post on a GoFundMe account set up to assist his family for expenses.
The community is hosting a car wash at the Auto Zone on East Hwy 70 on Sunday beginning at 8 a.m. Organizers did not have a set end time.
The football team also announced they will be hosting a spaghetti dinner in the Oñate Commons to help raise money for the Mendez family.
A GoFundMe account has also been set up to assist the family for those who cannot attend the fundraisers in person.
Funeral services for Mendez have not been announced.