A three-vehicle truck accident on Highway 285 near Malaga has left three people hurt. According to New Mexico State Police Sergeant Emmanuel Gutierrez, a commercial pick-up truck was headed south on the highway when it unexpectedly crossed the center line near a curve in the road at mile marker 18. The pick-up apparently traveled directly into the path of an oncoming semi that was carrying propane. Gutierrez said after the crash both vehicles began to spin and finally stopped in the northbound lanes of the roadway. Following the initial impact, a dump truck that was carrying a heavy load was apparently unable to stop and also struck the pick-up truck.
Gutierrez stated the 45-year-old driver of the pick-up was pinned in his vehicle as a result of the traffic wreck. After he was extricated, emergency responders reportedly transported the man by medical helicopter to a Lubbock, Texas hospital. Assistant Chief of the Malaga Volunteer Fire Department, Roy Burkham, stated two additional individuals who were involved in the accident were taken by ambulance to the Carlsbad Medical Center for treatment. Burkham also said he has never before witnessed a non-fatal crash that was so severe.
The exact cause of the horrific accident is currently under investigation by the New Mexico State Police. An accident witness, Linda Kirkes, reportedly stated that an increase in commercial oil and gas traffic appears to have caused a surge in the number of traffic wrecks on the highway.
Thankfully, no one was killed in this New Mexico truck accident. Still, about 1,400 tragic big rig crashes occur in our state every year. Because of the size and weight of 18-wheelers, truck accidents are generally serious or fatal. On average, someone is killed in one out of every 35 New Mexico truck wrecks and sustains a disabling injury in one out of every 15 accidents. In contrast, an individual is killed in only one out of every 130 non-truck crashes. According to law enforcement officials, about one-quarter of all big rig collisions are caused by a distracted or inattentive driver.
Semi-truck crashes in New Mexico may be caused by a number of factors that may include speeding, driver fatigue, excessive load weights, driver impairment, and poor vehicle maintenance. The victim in a New Mexico truck accident may be entitled to receive damages related to his or her lost wages and benefits, any resulting disability, medical expenses, suffering, and pain. Additionally, certain relatives of someone who died in a fatal collision with an 18-wheeler may also be eligible to recover for their loved one’s funeral expenses and other damages. If you were injured by a negligent semi-truck driver, you are advised to contact a quality attorney as soon as you are able.