Man dies in wreck after final cancer treatment

By Mike Linn

A longtime Portales resident who had just completed his final radiation treatment for cancer died in a car wreck on his way home from the hospital Wednesday afternoon.
James Wood, 75, died when the car his son was driving collided with a truck at 3:33 p.m. (MDT) about nine miles west of Muleshoe on the Cacahuate Highway, according to Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Corey Kernell.
The incident is under investigation, Kernell said.
Roberto Cortez, who works for Sandoval Trucking, was northbound on Farm to Market 1731 when the tractor-trailer rig he was driving collided with the Wood vehicle, Kernell said.
The trooper said no one was cited in connection with the accident.
Cortez, who was treated at the scene of the accident but not hospitalized, could not be reached for comment.
Wood died at the scene. The car’s driver, Douglas Wood, on Thursday was at Covenant Medical Center in Lubbock. He suffered two cracked vertebras, several broken ribs and a broken arm, sister-in-law Debi Wood said Thursday evening.
James Wood’s son Charles Wood described his father’s situation leading up to the accident:
James Wood was on his way home from a Lubbock hospital where he had been receiving radiation treatment for lung cancer first discovered in the spring. It was his last scheduled radiation treatment.
Charles Wood described his father as well-liked in the community, a hard worker and a family man.
“I can tell you that he was a family man, would do anything for his children and has,” Charles Wood said. “He was a typical work-a-day man, a hard worker.”
Charles Wood said his father, who worked for 20 years as a forklift driver, was an avid fisherman and brought up his children to love the outdoors.
James Wood leaves behind a wife, four children, an adopted child and two foster children, Charles Wood said.
“He had a very extended family,” Charles Wood said. “Basically, you can safely say that any young person who was in need of family could get it from my parents.”