ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The families of a University of New Mexico football player killed in a car crash and his girlfriend are trying to raise money for funeral and medical expenses.
University of New Mexico officials say separate GoFundMe pages have been set up to help pay for services for 20-year-old Markel Byrd and medical care for Alexus Ortiz.
Authorities say Byrd and Ortiz were traveling to San Diego for Christmas when the vehicle sustained a blowout while on Interstate 40 near Gallup.
Both were ejected.
They say Byrd died instantly while Ortiz was hospitalized in critical condition.
Alexus Ortiz continues to recover. A friend of hers Elizabeth Russo tells KRQE there has been an enormous amount of support from all over for both families. Russo says it’s going to take time but she’s confident Ortiz will make a full recovery.
As of Thursday morning, each sites have raised thousands of dollars.
Byrd, a sophomore safety, tied for the team lead in interceptions this year. Online, Ortiz was listed as a UNM cheerleader last year.
The Associate Press contributed to this story
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