Owners of Gila Hike and Bike store killed in collision outside Deming

A well-known couple who owned the Gila Hike and Bike store in downtown Silver City died in a car crash in Luna County over the weekend.

New Mexico State Police have identified Martyn Pearson, 38, and Alexandra Olsen, 40, as the two victims of an accident that occurred around 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28 on State Route 26 northeast by Deming.

Police say the two were passengers in a Toyota Tacoma being driven by a 15-year-old man in the eastbound lane when the vehicle crossed the center line and collided head-on with a Dodge pickup truck. The driver of the car and a 70-year-old man driving the van were injured but survived. Pearson and Olsen, however, were pronounced dead at the scene.

Investigators said alcohol did not appear to be a factor in the accident and that everyone involved was wearing their seat belts correctly. New Mexico State Police continued to investigate the incident on Monday.

The Gila Hike and Bike Shop has announced that it will be closed until further notice. The crash happened a month to the day since the store had reported a break-inforcing them to close for two days.

Pearson was the race director of the Signal Peak Challenge, a cross-country mountain bike race, and was also a musician. Olsen coached a swim team and taught a culinary arts elective at Aldo Leopold Charter School.

State Senator Siah Correa Hemphill, a close friend of the pair, said the pair met while Olsen was biking across the country and Pearson was doing maintenance on his bike. “She took a liking to Martyn, got his number and hoped the repairs he made might not hold and she would have a reason to go back,” she said. Ultimately, Olsen moved from the East Coast to Silver City permanently about seven years ago so the couple could be together.

Pearson had two teenagers from a previous marriage, and Correa Hemphill said the three adults presented “a beautiful example of how to be co-parenting in the most supportive way”.

“What’s beautiful about Aldo Leopold Charter School and our community in Silver City is that it’s a family,” she continued, “and we’re all going to surround those kids with everything the love and support we have and making sure they continue to have the same quality of life they had with Alex and Martyn.”

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Algernon D’Ammassa can be reached at 575-541-5451, [email protected] Where @AlgernonWrites on Twitter.

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