ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico — A storm system swept through parts of New Mexico on Thursday and dumped up to 6 inches of snow across the state, closing some schools and causing dangerous driving conditions and traffic accidents, including one that critically injured a sheriff's deputy.
New Mexico State Police says Sandoval County sheriff's deputy Robert Baron, 47, was transported to University of New Mexico Hospital after he was struck by a vehicle while directing traffic on Interstate 25 near the San Felipe Pueblo.
He was listed in critical but stable condition, state police Lt. Emmanuel Gutierrez said.
The moderate snowfall overnight struck I-25 near Raton in northern New Mexico, resulting in a warning to drivers from the state Department of Transportation.
On Interstate 40 east of Albuquerque, several crashes were reported due to weather, and the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department discouraged motorists from traveling in the area.
National Weather Service forecasters say snowfall accumulations in some areas could reach 6 to 8 inches. Torrance County and north toward Las Vegas are expected to be the hardest-hit areas. A winter storm warning was in effect until 11 p.m.
The weather forced school closures in Santa Fe and in Albuquerque's eastern mountains. Schools in other municipalities, like Las Vegas, New Mexico, opted for a two-hour delay.
In Placitas, a small mountain hamlet next to the Sandia Mountains, motorists slugged through icy roads and low visibility as moderate winds blew dusty snow across its main highway. That didn't stop Denise Miller, 61, from going on her regular morning jog through the town. "I love it," she said while waving to passing motorists. "Doesn't bother me at all."
The cold front also brought crisply cold temperatures which were expected to drop into the teens in central New Mexico and single digits in towns like touristy Taos to the north. More snow is expected Saturday and Sunday in the northern and western region of the state.
Forecasters say the harsh cold weather will continue into next week for much of New Mexico. They say temperatures can be expected to be up to 25 degrees below normal. They also urged residents to watch pipes for possible freezing.
The storm came after the state was hit last month with a deadly snow system that claimed the lives of at least three people.
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