Doña Ana County



Two Las Cruces men were killed in a single-vehicle accident at about 8:40 p.m. Friday when the convertible in which they were traveling left the roadway and was sliced nearly in half by a heavy-duty guard rail.

Ronzell Holcomb, 39, the driver, and Charles Belamontez, 43, the passenger and owner of the 1997 Pontiac Sunbird, died of massive head injuries in the accident, which occurred near the intersection of Shalem Colony Trail and Chavez Road.

Doña Ana County Sheriff’s investigators estimate that Holcomb was driving between 60 and 80 miles per hour in a 40 mph zone when he lost control of the vehicle in a curve, slid, and slammed into the guard rail. The guard rail was of heavy construction to protect a nearby electrical transformer.

Both men were wearing seatbelts, and airbags on both sides of the vehicle deployed, but the most serious damage was concentrated in the passenger compartment. The vehicle top was down, which also may have contributed to the seriousness of the men’s injuries.

Deputies found several open beer containers in and around the vehicle. Although autopsies are not planned, the state Office of the Medical Investigator is conducting toxicology exams to determine the blood-alcohol content of both men.

The families of Holcomb and Belamontez were contacted Saturday. The Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Department is handling the investigation.

There is no further information on the accident at this time.