The accident shut down the eastbound lanes of Interstate 40 for around two hours, while workers cleared the wreckage and removed the dead man in the 27-degree weather.
Killed was Kerry Melton, 40, of Altus, who was driving a 1994 Kenworth tractor trailer rig west, toward Arizona, about 8 a.m. when the accident happened about six miles east of Grants and about 70 miles west of Albuquerque, N.M.
State police said Olivia Moore, 25, of Los Angeles was driving a 2004 KIA passenger car west on Interstate 40 in the right lane. She hit some black ice on the road, hit her brakes and began to slide sideways into the left lane, according to a police report.
Melton, meanwhile, was driving his rig behind Moore and saw her spin. The report states that witnesses saw Melton swerve to avoid hitting Moore, but the right side of Melton's trailer hit Moore's KIA on the left-front fender, sending the KIA spinning into the center median.
Melton's truck also went into the center median, which shifted the trailer's load, the report states. The truck careened over on it's left side, slid across the east bound lanes, ripped through a guardrail and plowed partially down a small embankment before coming to rest. The guardrail tore open the truck's cab and Melton, who police said was not wearing his seat belt, was thrown from the vehicle.
State police, Mount Taylor Ambulance personnel, Grants Fire and Rescue Department personnel and emergency personnel from the Acoma Fire Department gave medical care to Moore, but he later died at the scene. George Hanna, of the Office of the Medical Investigations, pronounced Moore dead at 9:20 a.m.