Family: Mother of three who died ‘good person’

Mary Castillo, 56, died Thursday afternoon from injuries she sustained in a crash Wednesday night.

Sharna Johnson

Mary Castillo was a mother of three and a “good person” who had a lot of friends in the community.

Angel Martinez said his family is still in shock at his sister’s traumatic death Thursday.

Castillo, 56, lived about 17 hours after she was in a crash Wednesday with a Clovis police officer on patrol.

Police Chief Steve Sanders has said preliminary evidence indicates Officer Stephen Gallegos ran a stop sign on Grand Avenue at Sycamore Street, colliding broadside with a pickup truck in which Castillo was a passenger.

The driver of the pickup, 40-year-old Edith Payton of Clovis, remains in critical condition at University Medical Center in Lubbock, where Castillo died.

Police said Gallegos was treated for minor injuries at Plains Regional Medical Center and released.

“Chief (Steve) Sanders and his entire staff want to extend their deepest sympathy and prayers to the family of Ms. Castillo,” a police press release said.

“Ms. Payton and her family will be in our thoughts and our prayers as we wish her a full recovery from the injuries she sustained.”

Martinez said his sister had just left work at Mom’s Cafe on south Hull Street and was getting a ride home from Payton when the crash occurred around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday.

He said she lived north of the crash site.

Speaking by phone as family members returned to Clovis from Lubbock on Thursday afternoon, Martinez said doctors worked throughout the night and day to try and save his sister. He said after doctors resuscitated her nearly a dozen times, she died.

“She was coding every two or three minutes. They did everything they could,” Martinez said. He said Castillo never regained consciousness after the crash.

“It was just awful. She suffered a lot; it was just awful what she went through.”

Martinez said Castillo is a widow and is survived by three adult children.

Payton’s condition is still serious, Martinez said, explaining the impact from the crash was on the driver’s side of the truck and Payton suffered multiple broken bones and injuries. He said she is undergoing surgery.

Martinez said the family is still searching for answers for what happened and grappling with the sudden loss of their loved one.

“We’re pretty upset about the whole situation,” he said. “She was a good person all her life.”