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Las Animas deputy, civilian, child, killed in three-car crash on highway

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Posted at 5:43 AM, Dec 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-13 19:01:27-05

LAS ANIMAS COUNTY, Colo. — Three people, including a Las Animas deputy, were killed in a crash that closed down part of Highway 12 for seven hours.

The crashed happened when Las Animas County Sheriff's Office deputies were responding to a domestic incident around 8 p.m. Wednesday, according to a press release from Colorado State Patrol.

Two of the patrol cars collided with another vehicle, which was headed in the opposite direction. The driver of that car died. The child who was in the vehicle later died at the hospital.

A deputy also died at the hospital. Two other deputies had minor to moderate injuries.

On Thursday afternoon, CSP identified those involved in the crash.

Sgt. Matthew Moreno, 37, of Trinidad is the deputy who died in the crash. He was transported to Mt. San Rafael Hospital but was pronounced dead upon arrival. He had been a deputy for the sheriff's office for five years and is survived by his two daughters and stepson.

Riding with him in the 2016 Dodge Ram pickup at the time was Deputy Kenny Lopez, 22, of Trinidad, who was transported to the same hospital with moderate injuries. He has been with the sheriff's office for three years.

Deputy Trent Gomez, 25, of Trinidad was driving a Ford SUV during the crash. The two-year deputy suffered minor injuries and was also hospitalized.

In the civilian car were Taelor Roybal, 23, of Trinidad and 1-year-old Ezekiel Valdez of Trinidad. Roybal was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, CSP said, while Valdez died after being transported to Memorial Hospital. CSP says it does not know the relationship between the two.

Highway 12 reopened around 3 a.m. CSP says the investigation into the crash and its cause is ongoing and that information on donations to the Las Animas County Sheriff's Office would be forthcoming.