- Associated Press - Thursday, December 24, 2015

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - The families of a University of New Mexico football player killed in a car crash and his girlfriend are trying to raise money for funeral and medical expenses.

University of New Mexico officials say separate GoFundMe pages have been set up to help pay for services for 20-year-old Markel Byrd and medical care for Alexus Ortiz.

Authorities say Byrd and Ortiz were traveling to San Diego for Christmas when the vehicle sustained a blowout while on Interstate 40 near Gallup.

Both were ejected.

They say Byrd died instantly while Ortiz was hospitalized in critical condition.

As of Thursday morning, the site garnered nearly $2,300 in donations for Byrd’s funeral and more than $2,500 for Ortiz.

Byrd, a sophomore safety, tied for the team lead in interceptions this year.

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