Victims identified in deadly wrong-way crash

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Updated: Wednesday, February 26 2014, 02:32 PM MST

By: Bill Melugin and Jesse Martinez
EL PASO, Texas – Employees at a Las Cruces church said their pastor was killed in a wrong-way crash on Interstate 10 Monday night.

As KFOX14 previously reported, the crash was reported Monday evening when deputies responded to a call of a wrong-way driver in the area.

Authorities said a silver BMW was driving the wrong way on I-10 east near Vinton when he struck a red minivan head-on. Both drivers died at the scene.

Deputies identified the victims Wednesday as Joshua Allen, 30, of Las Cruces and Jesus Barrera, 24, of Bayard, N.M.

Employees at Grace Bible Church in Las Cruces said Allen was a pastor at the church for about four years, and employees said they learned about the accident because he didn’t show up where he was expected.

That’s when they recognized his minivan in the media coverage of the accident.

Employees said Allen was driving the right way when he was hit by the wrong-way driver.

Investigators aren’t sure how far the driver of the BMW had been going the wrong way, but are investigating.

The interstate was closed for several hours as authorities investigated the incident.

Employees said Allen leaves behind an infant son and wife. His wife’s birthday was Tuesday.

They said his family has been notified and that several of his family members are flying in from the East Coast.

Deputies said they are awaiting the results of toxicology tests.

Update: Victims identified in deadly wrong-way crash

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