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Update: Identity of victims in crash near Lomaland released

Updated: Friday, July 19 2013, 04:16 PM MDT

By: Ruben Veloz
EL PASO, Texas -- 

The victims involved in a deadly crash Thursday evening in east El Paso have identified. 

El Paso police are investigating what led to a crash after Stephanie Apodaca, 17, died at the hospital.

The accident happened on Lomaland Drive and Gateway Boulevard West underneath the Interstate 10 overpass. 

Mario Leyva, 22, was also sent to the hospital with minor injuries, including Apodaca's one-month-old baby Mario Leyva who was riding in a car seat in the back of the car when the accident happened. 

The baby didn't didn't suffer any injuries, police said. 

The crash happened around 9:57 p.m. Thursday, when for unknown reasons Apodaca who was driving the car veered off the road, police said. 

"This is a death investigation, this isn't a simple traffic accident," said El Paso police spokesman Mike Baranyay, "This is an accident where there could be charges filed so it has to be treated as a crime scene, and therefore they are going to take every piece of evidence they could possibly collect."

Apodaca was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Because of the rainy weather, investigators aren't sure what led to the accident, because there were no skid marks at the scene. 

Investigators said the slick roads made it hard to collect evidence at the scene. 

Police said they had to be very quick to collect any evidence before the rain could wash it away, especially on a typically busy road. 

"Unlike a murder scene inside of a home where we can seal off a home and we can hold that home for a couple of days and allow investigators to keep returning to the scene, a road doesn't give us that liberty," said Baranyay.

Investigators hope to talk to Leyva who was in the car to piece all the evidence together, and find out why Apodaca veered off the road.

"Once the male is stabilized and able to talk to officers at the hospital hopefully we'll get a little more info inside on what led up to the collision," said Baranyay.

Investigators said Apodaca wasn't wearing a seat belt.


Update: Identity of victims in crash near Lomaland released


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