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Family Of Injured Man Says Highway Racing Is To Blame

The life of a 22-year-old New Mexico State University student has taken an unexpected turn.

Branden Livingston lies in a hospital bed with a metal rod in his leg after a wreck over the weekend that caused his truck to roll.

It was early Sunday morning when Branden and two passengers were driving back to Las Cruces from El Paso after attending a concert.

Branden said he was heading west on Interstate 10 when a red Honda slammed into him from behind.

“All of a sudden he felt the hit and he was airborne,” said Branden’s mother, Melissa Livingston.

The driver of the Honda allegedly fled the scene, leaving the car behind.

“An eyewitness that pulled over to help my son and his passengers said she saw two cars racing with their lights off,” said Livingston.

Branden’s mother believes the suspects were racing from El Paso to Las Cruces.

ABC-7 spoke with Captain Rick Libicer with the New Mexico State Police, who said his department has not come across any issues with organized racing.

Deputy Eileen Lopez, a spokeswoman for the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, said they are still working to identify the driver of the car that was left behind.

Lopez also said at this point deputies are only investigating a traffic wreck; illegal street racing has not been ruled a factor.

Meanwhile Branden, who is a member of the NMSU Rodeo Team, will have to sit out of school for several months to focus on his recovery.

“You’ve got a young person with their whole life ahead of them and that could’ve been taken away in a second just by a mistake,” said Melissa Livingston.

Branden lost so much blood he needed a transfusion Tuesday morning. A second surgery on his leg is also pending.

As the recovery process begins, Branden’s mother said he is still wrapping his head around what happened to him.

“He doesn’t understand how someone could do this and leave him out to die,” said Livingston.

The two passengers who were also riding in the truck have been released from the hospital.

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