By Darrell Todd Maurina
Delbert Sours said he was just trying to be a good Samaritan when he heard a vehicle crash outside his Pleasant Hill farmhouse about 9:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve. He didn’t expect one of the people involved in the crash to take his pickup truck and leave the scene.
“The worst thing about it was we didn’t have full coverage on the pickup, just liability, and my wife’s Christmas present was hidden in the cab so she wouldn’t be nosing around and find it,” Sours said. “I had every tool I own in the farm in that pickup and now I have to replace them all.”
Officer Al Quintero of the New Mexico State Police said law enforcement agencies haven’t found the stolen pickup and still aren’t sure of the identities of two men who were seriously injured in the crash. Both men were airlifted to Lubbock; one was listed in critical condition and while both were still alive at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Quintero said doctors told him one man may not survive.
“The driver lost control of the vehicle and overturned approximately six times,” Quintero said. “Alcohol was definitely a factor in this.”
Quintero said the crashed vehicle was a 2000 GMC van, but that vehicle may also have been stolen. The Sours’ pickup is a white GMC flatbed pickup with New Mexico license plate DRB-676; Sours added that it has a white toolbox and a black cover on the front grille. The man who fled the scene was described by police as Hispanic with black hair, a small ponytail, and facial hair.
Quintero warned that anyone who sees the pickup truck or driver should not approach but immediately call police.
“One of the items in the stolen truck was a firearm,” Quintero said. “Wherever they see the vehicle, whether on the Texas or New Mexico side of the border, contact a police agency.”
Sours said his first thought after realizing his pickup had been stolen was “something about the Grinch who stole Christmas.”
“I was truly concerned about the two poor people on the ground; they were just pitiful and this guy obviously didn’t care about them very much,” Sours said. “You just hate that there has to be people like this in the world.”
Sours said he was concerned the man who fled the scene might injure himself or others.
“The guy who was standing up was so drunk he couldn’t hardly stand; he got into an electric fence and it wasn’t even doing anything to him,” Sours said. “We got him out of that fence, and then he started walking around and we didn’t notice him taking the pickup until he was gone.”
While Sours’ wife didn’t get her Christmas present Thursday morning, Sours said he would use another vehicle to shop Friday morning for a replacement present.
“We’ve had an ongoing deal for 17 years that I hide (the present) from her and say she’s not getting anything for Christmas,” Sours said. “Now she’ll still get it, it’ll just be late.”