Rudy Martinez

Rudy Martinez, 16.

Editor's note: This story has been edited to correct the names of the victims  and update conditions of those involved.

A Colorado Springs teen was killed Sunday in a rollover crash in Texas, where he was traveling with his family to see his ailing grandfather.

A family friend identified him as Rudy Martinez, 16. He was a sophomore at the Career Readiness Academy in Harrison School District 2, a spokeswoman confirmed.

Many friends also identified him as the victim on social media Monday, where they wrote messages mourning his loss.

Six others, including Martinez's father, Rudy Salazar Jr., 50; the boy’s 16-year-old girlfriend, a former Harrison student; his 8-year-old brother; and three other children, ages 8, 10 and 11, also were involved in the crash, with some suffering life-threatening injuries, reported the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Everyone is expected to make a full recovery, a woman speaking on behalf of the family said Tuesday. She said two children were not injured in the crash.

Three children in the car not related to Martinez had been staying with the family for six months, since Salazar found them living in a car with their parents, said family friend Tina Wright.

“They are a great family,” Wright said. “This man took in three kids that he didn’t have to, and they were all doing well in school.”

And Martinez “was a great kid. This is devastating,” she said.

The crash was reported just after 7 a.m. Sunday on U.S. 87, near Lamesa, about an hour from Lubbock, authorities said. They crashed six hours from their destination of San Antonio, said Wright, who says she lent Salazar money to make the trip to see his ailing father.

Texas officials still are investigating why the vehicle traveled off the left side of the highway and rolled.

Martinez’s girlfriend, who has not been named, was driving at the time, the Department of Public Safety said. She was the only person listed as wearing a seat belt.

A gofund me account for the family’s funeral expenses — — had reached $3,330 of its $5,000 goal as of Monday night.

Contact the writer at 719-636-0362 or find her on Twitter: @njKaitlinDurbin.

Contact the writer at 719-636-0362 or find her on Twitter: @njKaitlinDurbin.


Kaitlin is a public safety reporter with a focus on investigations. She is a proud Ohioan, champion for local libraries, volunteer reading tutor and an expert ice cream connoisseur (mint chocolate chip!). She joined the Gazette in 2016.

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