Articles Posted in New Mexico Truck Accidents

Many states have some form of governmental immunity, which is a privilege that prevents the government from being sued in a tort lawsuit. Oftentimes, under this doctrine the government may only be sued if it specifically grants permission to be sued. Like the majority of other states, New Mexico has its own Tort Claims Act which addresses issues of “sovereign immunity.”

curvy-road-1350939In New Mexico, this Act prevents many tort claims against the government, unless the suit falls into a very specific exception. In many instances, an individual may attempt to bring a suit against the government when they have been injured on what they perceive as a dangerously designed or maintained road. However, in New Mexico the Tort Claims Act prevents individuals from bringing a suit against the government under the theory that the government did not safely design a roadway or highway.

Although those types of suits are barred, an individual may bring a suit against the government if they can establish it failed to adequately maintain the road. For example, a person will not likely succeed in a claim against the government if they claim that the accident was caused because drivers could not see oncoming traffic while approaching a curve. However, if a plaintiff claims that the road was not properly maintained because there were known to be potholes on the road’s surface that were not repaired, the claim may be viable. Therefore, it can be very important how a plaintiff’s case is plead in his or her initial filing.

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Right after the Fourth of July, a motorcyclist in Utah was killed after losing control of his bike on the highway. According to news reports, the 59-year-old man was driving on Interstate 84 in the early evening when the crash occurred. The most recent reports reveal that the man was driving west on the highway on his 2013 BMW motorcycle when he approached a curve.

bikers-1-1257567.jpgEvidently, the man was unable to negotiate the curve, and he ended up losing control of his motorcycle. After losing control, he flew into a median and subsequently crashed into a metal cable barrier. Even though the man was wearing a helmet, he was killed on impact. State officials have concluded that it is likely that speed was a factor in the accident. However, they are currently determining whether a semi-truck could have added to the severity of the crash. State police are investigating whether the semi-truck may have made a dangerous lane change or cut off the motorcyclist.

Finding Fault in New Mexico When the Plaintiff is Partially Responsible
In many cases when an individual is injured in a car accident, there is someone who is responsible for causing the accident. To properly bring a negligence claim in front of a judge or jury, there are certain elements that must be met.
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Earlier this month, a serious accident in New Mexico resulted in the unfortunate deaths of two individuals. According to local news reports, the individuals were driving in the morning hours of April 12, 2015 when the accident occurred.

old-truck-1228351-m.jpgEvidently, a pick-up truck was driving on I-40 near Quay County, New Mexico. The pick-up truck slammed into the back of a semi-truck. After hitting the semi-truck, the pick-up truck was hit by two additional vehicles. A pile-up of cars then ensued. Unfortunately, the two individuals in the pick-up truck were pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. Reports indicate that, surprisingly, no one else was injured in the pile-up.

Bringing a Personal Injury Suit in New Mexico
The above case clearly illustrates a situation where an injured individual may consider bringing a personal injury suit against a negligent party. However, it also is an example of a particularly complicated case because there were several parties involved.
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A semi-truck driver died in a Texas hospital last month after being involved in an accident near Jal, New Mexico that left the truck he was driving rolled over on its side. According to one local news report, the man was driving his semi-truck on Orrla Road when he lost control of his vehicle and rolled the truck on its side while trying to regain control.

truck-1192523-m.jpgAfter the crash, the man was taken to a hospital in Kermit, Texas, where he died from his injuries. According to the report, the man was wearing his seatbelt at the time of the crash, and alcohol was not believed to be a factor in the cause of the accident.

The Causes of Deadly Truck Accidents
New Mexico semi-truck accidents have various causes. Impaired drivers or dangerous road and weather conditions contribute to some accidents, while other accidents are the result of equipment failure or driver error. The exact cause of the fatal accident last month is not known, although authorities have ruled out alcohol, and the weather appears to have been clear at the time of the crash.
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A local New Mexican online newspaper reported that an Arizona man died when he was driving in Eddy County, New Mexico. The State Police representatives explained that the 60 year-old semi-truck driver was driving south of Loving when the accident occurred late last week in the early morning hours.

semi-truck-1-232051-m.jpgApparently, the truck driver’s vehicle approached a curve and he was unable to maintain control. After reaching the curve, he proceeded onto the shoulder. His semi-truck began to roll after it fell into the ditch. No one else was injured in the accident. The New Mexico State Police have indicated that the crash is still under investigation; however, as of the most recent report, no charges have been brought.

Truck Driving Accidents in New Mexico
Although most people are aware of the severity of damage and injury to those involved in trucking accidents, it is probably surprising to note the frequency of these types of accidents. Since the oil boom in New Mexico and Texas, there has been an increasing number of trucking accidents and a higher percentage of fatalities. A trucking accident is defined as an accident where a trailer that weights about 10,000 or more crashes with other drivers, pedestrians, or stationary objects.
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Earlier this month, an individual driving a stolen truck slammed into another truck as he was attempting to evade police. According to a local New Mexican news report, the accident occurred early last week on Tuesday afternoon. The individual who was driving the stolen truck was driving in a neighborhood near Southern, New Mexico. Police officers attempted to pull the driver over. However, he began to speed away as they signaled for him to do so. As the driver was attempting to escape the police, he ran through an intersection with a three-way stop. Shortly after running the three-way stop, he hit the truck.

snow-capped-sierra-mountain-stop-sign-1337950-m.jpgAs of right now, reports have not clarified whether police officials were in the process of chasing the driver at the specific moment when the accident occurred. Unfortunately, the individual in the truck that was hit was injured along with the suspect. At this point, no more details have been released regarding the accident, but an investigation is still pending.

Bringing a Civil Charge When Criminal Charges Are Not Being Pressed in New Mexico
In New Mexico, it is possible to bring civil charges against a culpable party even though no criminal charges are being filed against the individual. Although the likelihood of success on a civil claim is greater when a person is found criminally responsible, it is far from necessary for a civil lawsuit.
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Last month, five oil field workers were involved in an explosive accident after their van collided with an oil tanker truck. According to an article in a local news source website, the accident happened around 7 a.m. in Dimmit County. An oil tanker was attempting to avoid a pickup truck when it rolled over. The van carrying the workers ended up hitting the tanker truck and another vehicle.

oil-drilling-rig-4-161276-m.jpgFive of the individuals in the van were killed, and three other individuals were severely injured in the accident. State police are currently investigating the crash, but it has become evident that these types of accidents are becoming more prevalent since the oil boom. The boom has resulted in a higher level of traffic, and a number of the people driving are traveling long distances, which can also add to the likelihood of accidents. Fatal accidents have also been on the rise since the oil boom in the state.

New Mexico Truck Driving Negligence

As the case above illustrates, truck accidents have been on the rise in both New Mexico and its neighboring states. The oil boom has resulted in many New Mexico truck drivers and residents to begin traveling long distances for employment. This influx of trucks has coincided with the increase in fatal accidents.
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Late last week, a Sante Fe jury determined that $165.5 million should be awarded to the families of the victims in a 2011 crash near Las Cruces, New Mexico. According to a local news report, the verdict, which was mainly against FedEx, is one of the highest jury awards in the state.

car-accident-5-332864-m.jpgEvidently, a GMC pickup truck was carrying three individuals–one driver and two passengers. The car was struck by a tractor-trailer that was contracted by Fed Ex. Apparently, the accident happened around 1:30 a.m. on June 22, 2011. The driver of the GMC stopped on the side of the road with her hazard lights on, but the tractor-trailer rammed into her SUV from behind.

A negligence suit against Fed Ex was brought by the victim’s husband and her parents. The crux of the family’s argument was surrounding the lack of training and safety procedures for the driver of the tractor-trailer. The victims’ attorneys argued that the tractor-trailer driver could have easily seen the victim’s car and was speeding right before the accident occurred. The jury agreed and found that the defendant was 95% at fault, which resulted in about $157,256,350 of liability.
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A multi-vehicle collision involving two tractor-trailers resulted in two individuals being hospitalized. A local news report indicated that the crash occurred early last week on Interstate 10 near Deming. Apparently, a yellow trailer was driving eastbound when the driver of the truck had a diabetic episode. During the episode, he crossed the highway and ended up on the westbound lane.

truck-5th-avenue-569266-m.jpgThe yellow trailer ended up colliding with another tractor trailer that was carrying large vehicles. Another smaller vehicle was involved in the crash as well. Unfortunately, both drivers of the tractors had to be hospitalized. The driver and passengers in the smaller car were treated at the scene of the incident. According to New Mexico State Police, the accident is still being investigated to determine whether the accident was due to any one driver’s fault.

Truck Driver Negligence When Medical Conditions are involved
Although at first glance it seems as if this accident was just a tragic accident, since the tractor trailer driver had a medication condition, this case has the possibility of being one of negligence. To establish negligence in New Mexico, the plaintiff in the case must be able to meet all the elements of the claim. A negligence claim must show that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty to exhibit a standard of reasonable care, the defendant breached that standard, and that the breach was the actual and proximate cause of the injuries that the plaintiff sustained. Damages also must be proved.
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Late last month, there was a seven-vehicle accident near Mesquite, New Mexico that killed one woman and injured several others. There were five passenger vehicles and two commercial vehicles involved in the accident. According to a local news report, the semi-truck hit a small car from behind. This first accident caused a chain reaction, finally ending when the semi-truck rolled over.

crash-car-1-748020-m.jpgThe accident occurred on a section of the highway that has been under construction for many months. Unfortunately, there was one fatality in the series of accidents. A 43-year-old Maricopa, Arizona woman was killed as result of the accident. The Las Cruces Police and New Mexico State Police are still investigating the crash to determine if there was any fault and if any charges will be pressed.

Truck Accident Settlements in New Mexico
When a person has been injured as the result of a trucking accident, he or she may want to bring a suit against the driver or trucking company for his or her injuries. In order to do this, the victim should be able to establish the elements of negligence. To bring a negligence suit, a person must prove that the defendant owed him or her a standard duty of care, the defendant breached that duty, and that breach was the actual and proximate cause of their injuries and damages. In many cases, plaintiffs are under the impression that in order to get a favorable outcome their case must be heard by a judge or a jury, but that is not always the case.
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Earlier this month, a truck driver was killed after getting struck by another vehicle when he was on the side of the road. News reports have indicated that the individual’s truck caught on fire near Highway 80 and I-20 in Harrison County. The truck driver proceeded to get out of his truck and inspect the part that was on fire. When he was in the process of checking on the fire, another 18-wheeler struck the truck driver, and the man on the side of the road unfortunately died. Oddly, during the inspection and investigation of the truck, police found a significant amount of money in the truck. About $300,000 of it was not burned, and the origin of the money is currently being investigated to see if there is any connection to drug trafficking.

us-currency-4-1007270-m.jpgSettlements in Trucking Accidents
Many people are aware of the requirements needed to bring a personal injury lawsuit. The plaintiff must show negligence by establishing the standard duty of care owed, a breach of that duty, causation, and damages. However, this can be extremely time-consuming, costly, and emotionally and mentally exhausting. Although an attorney during this phase of a lawsuit is indispensable, he or she can also be very helpful in coming to a settlement negotiation.
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One local newspaper recently reported that an impaired truck driver in Arizona caused an accident on northbound I-17. Apparently, the truck driver was driving a tractor trailer loaded with concrete when he hit four other cars.

truck-3-229542-m.jpgThe news report indicates that he hit a median, which led to much of his load falling off the truck. He then rammed into one car, which proceeded to hit another, which then caused a domino effect that ended up in a four-car accident. This also resulted in an explosion that killed a 22-year-old driver who was pulled from his burning vehicle. The accident also injured many other drivers, who were taken to various hospitals.

One witness reported that, even though there was congestion on the highway at the time of the accident, the semi-truck driver did not even attempt to stop his truck. The witness went on to tell the reporters that the driver did not apply his brakes, nor did he reduce his speed at all. The police arrested the driver, and he was booked because the officers believed he should be charged with second-degree murder and driving under the influence.
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An recent analysis of New Mexico’s traffic fatalities has revealed significant data regarding the most frequent types and causes of accidents. Through the middle of November, New Mexico logged about 46 traffic accidents that resulted in fatalities.

yellow-truck-shots-4-291281-m.jpgAlthough drunk driving accidents have gone down, accidents due to other causes have increased. A New Mexico Police Captain has indicated that a lot of individuals who drive commercial vehicles and work on the oil fields do not live in the two counties with the highest amount of fatalities. As a result, the commuter traffic has risen almost three times in the past few years. He went on to explain that many of these commercial drivers and other employed individuals work long shifts and then proceed to drive home in the evenings or early mornings. This often results in a significant number of drowsy drivers on the road. Other New Mexico police officers have also indicated that about 90% of their calls are for oil field trucks, not necessarily just commercial drivers.
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Late last month, a truck driver died as a result of serious injuries he incurred in a trucking accident. According to the New Mexico State Police and a local news report, the accident occurred on November 19 right after midnight.

trucks-on-sea-1039933-m.jpgApparently, the truck driver was traveling west on State Route 128 when he tried to make a U-turn after missing his turn. The back of his truck became “high-centered,” or stuck in the middle of the road. Another commercial vehicle on the same side attempted to assist the truck driver. As he was doing this, a third truck that was traveling in the opposite direction struck the driver as he was attempting to get it out of the road. An initial investigation has not revealed that alcohol was a contributing factor in the accident, but it is still under investigation by the New Mexico Department of Public Safety.

Liability in Truck Accidents
All accidents have the potential to be disastrous, but trucking accidents often are the most severe in terms of the amount of the damage done to the parties involved. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration estimates that over 88,000 individuals were injured on average for the past several years as a result of truck accidents.
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Two crashes in New Mexico resulted in the death of three people early last week . According to a local news report, the accident occurred around N.M. Highway 371 and County Road 6001 on November 11 at approximately 5 p.m. Apparently, a semi-truck and a car collided, and unfortunately two individuals were killed at the scene of the accident, and one was taken to a local hospital. This location was the scene of an earlier crash and the second accident that resulted in fatalities. The road is curved and has been the location of many fatal crashes through the years. Another crash occurred later that same evening around N.M. Highway 574. The Sheriff’s office reported that at least one person died as a result of this accident.

truck-1192523-m.jpgTrucking Collisions, Negligence, and Culpable Parties in New Mexico
All accidents have the possibility of resulting in serious bodily harm or death. However, the likelihood of a fatality is greatly increased when a truck is involved. When an individual or family member has been injured or killed as a result of a trucking accident, they may be able to sue under the theory of negligence.

In order to establish negligence in a civil suit, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant had a duty to exercise a reasonable standard of care, that it breached that duty, and that breach was the cause of the accident and the resulting injuries and damages.
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Two people were tragically killed last month in the second fatal accident involving a passenger car and a semi-truck in San Juan County in less than two months. On Tuesday, October 28 shortly before 5:00 PM, three people were riding in a passenger car near the intersection of County Road 6001 and State Highway 371 in San Juan County when their car was hit by a semi-truck. The car’s driver and one passenger were killed in the crash, and a third passenger was hospitalized with serious injuries.

coastal-highway-1261914-m.jpgAccording to an article accessed on daily-times.com and the San Juan County Sheriff’s office media release from the accident (accessed on Facebook), the car that was struck was traveling ahead of the semi-truck, an oil field rig-up truck, when the driver pulled to the left shoulder and attempted to make a U-turn. The driver of the car failed to clear traffic and was struck by the truck, causing both vehicles to veer off the road. Police say that alcohol does not appear to be a factor in the crash, but an investigation is ongoing.

Increases in New Mexico Trucking Accidents
The oil boom in eastern New Mexico has caused a dramatic increase in the number of accidents involving semi-trucks on our roads, and the danger presented to drivers and passengers along the oil routes is as grave as ever. It is important for drivers along the routes used by oil-related trucking to take extreme caution and pay the utmost attention to what is in front of, behind, and alongside them. In this incident, it appears that the semi-truck driver was unable to avoid the accident, and that the driver of the car’s decision to make a U-turn in the middle of the highway likely contributed to the cause of the accident.
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In a tragic accident late last month, a bicyclist riding on US 54 in Otero County was struck by a passing semi-truck and killed after being knocked off his bicycle. According to an article from KOB.com, the biker was riding on the shoulder of the roadway when a passing semi-truck struck the handlebar of the bicycle, knocking the rider to the ground and causing him to get run over by the truck. The victim was hospitalized after the accident but died from head injuries shortly after being admitted.

bike-path-480131-m.jpgThe risks of riding a bicycle are multiplied when the biker is riding on a highway alongside vehicles traveling at high speeds. When semi-trucks are traveling on the road, it can make biking on a highway even more dangerous. People who choose to ride a bicycle on a highway should always wear a helmet and pay close attention to the vehicles approaching them from behind. No matter how dangerous it is to bike on the road, the largest responsibility for preventing accidents involving bicycles lies with the drivers of motor vehicles that are on the roads, including truck drivers.
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A semi-truck smashed through the median on Interstate 35 near Davis, Oklahoma and crashed into a bus carrying 15 players from the North Central Texas College women’s softball team last month. Tragically, four of the players were killed as a result of the night-time collision. According to an article, the initial investigation suggested that there was no sign that brakes were applied or that the driver tried to steer away from the crash before it occurred. It initially appeared that the truck drove straight as the road curved to the right and continued into oncoming traffic.

baseball-glove-713628-m.jpgAccording to state investigators, the driver told them that he was distracted by something in the cabin, but the article suggests that the investigators were not entirely convinced by the truck driver’s story. As the investigation continues, the data recorder can be retrieved from the truck, and it can be determined if the brakes were applied before the accident. Authorities have also sought a search warrant to search the contents of the truck in response to the truck driver’s explanation.

It appears that the authorities are suspicious that the truck driver may have been asleep or inebriated at the time of the crash, and the details of the driver’s explanation are not yet clear enough to determine if the driver has admitted fault for the accident.
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A woman and her two children from Nageezi, New Mexico were killed on U.S. 550 near Bloomfield last Thursday when their car collided with the trailer of a semi-truck that was traveling in the oncoming lane. According to an article from KOB.com, the fatal collision was the result of the trailer crossing into the oncoming lane after the semi-truck driver braked hard to avoid another crash. A 58-year-old woman and her 30-year-old son were killed immediately in the accident, and the woman’s 28-year-old daughter died at the hospital following the crash.

i-haul-299523-m.jpgA police investigation has revealed that the first accident was caused when one semi-truck pulled onto the road and was hit by another vehicle, blocking the road. The truck involved in the fatal crash braked to avoid a collision, and its trailer drifted into the oncoming lane and was hit by the car containing the family. The driver of the semi-truck involved in the first accident fled the scene and is currently sought by police.
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Earlier this month, a federal jury awarded a total of at least $4.7 million to Amtrak and Union Pacific Railroad from a Nevada trucking company for damage that was caused when a truck driver for the company crashed into an Amtrak passenger train in Nevada, killing six people and injuring many others. According to an article on abcnews.com, the accident occurred on June 24, 2011 and was allegedly the result of a distracted or drowsy driver and a truck with faulty brakes.

train-1442313-1-m.jpgThe driver of the truck was killed in the accident, so he was unable to explain what may have happened. During the four-week trial in August, lawyers for Amtrak and Union Pacific Railroad used videos from the train itself to argue that the lights and gate at the railroad crossing worked properly at the time of the accident, and the driver of the truck failed to respond to several whistle blasts from the train before smashing into the fourth car of the train in a fiery collision. Most of the jury award was for damage to the trains and compensation for injuries to employees and passengers, and Union Pacific Railroad was also awarded money for the costs to repair the railroad crossing that was damaged in the accident.
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A semi-truck that was carrying hazardous and flammable materials exploded last month on U.S. Highway 491 in northwestern New Mexico, forcing the evacuation of approximately 300 people from the town of Naschitti, a Navajo Nation reservation community.

gasoline-tanker-21066-m.jpgAccording to an article from Albuquerque news source KRQE, the truck was believed to be carrying propane and adhesive products on August 7, and it exploded after possibly being involved in a crash at about 6:30 a.m. At the time of publication, the exact cause of the accident was still under investigation. No injuries were reported from the frightening explosion and resulting fire, although the highway remained closed for the day and residents were not allowed to return until authorities declared the area was safe.

The Danger of Trucks Transporting Hazardous Material
Semi-trucks present many dangers to drivers because of their size, as well as the number of them on New Mexico roads. In addition to these dangers, this story demonstrates that the cargo being carried by semi-trucks can present additional dangers to drivers and others who are unfortunate enough to find themselves near the scene of a crash.
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In a somewhat surprising decision released earlier this month, the New Mexico Court of Appeals reversed a lower court decision that determined the New Mexico Department of Transportation could not be held liable for wrongful death based on its failure to adequately discover and remove semi-truck tire debris off the roadway before the debris caused a fatal accident. The court found that the state agency did not enjoy sovereign immunity from this negligence lawsuit because the Department may have been on constructive notice of the hazard, and it had a duty to exercise reasonable care to keep the roadway safe.

floor-3-684910-m.jpgThe Accident
The plaintiff in this case was involved in a New Mexico auto accident on Interstate 25 near St. Francis Drive in Santa Fe in October 2004. According to reports of the accident, the decedent was traveling southbound on the freeway when she either collided with or swerved to avoid pieces of semi-truck tire debris in the roadway, resulting in her death. There was no evidence that the New Mexico Department of Transportation, which maintains that stretch of roadway, had actual knowledge of the hazard. It was also unknown how long the debris had been in the road prior to the accident. A wrongful death lawsuit was filed on the woman’s behalf against the New Mexico Department of Transportation.

Government Agencies are Generally Immune from Civil Lawsuits
Governments and government agencies generally enjoy what is called sovereign immunity from negligence lawsuits for injuries and deaths that are caused in public places. This policy has developed over time to relieve the government of any duty to ensure the general safety of every citizen while in public, which would lead to an impractical legal burden. In some areas of the law, however, the government does not enjoy complete immunity from civil liability for negligence, and this includes roadway maintenance. The New Mexico Tort Claims Act, which governs many negligence claims in the state, has a roadway-maintenance exception, which explicitly states that: “the identification and remediation of roadway hazards” is the responsibility of the Department of Transportation. It is under this exception that the lawsuit was filed.
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Earlier this month near Grants, three semi-trucks were involved in an accident resulting in the death of one of the drivers. According to a report by KOB 4, the accident occurred on Interstate 40 when one of the semi-truck’s tires blew out.

old-truck-1228351-m.jpgEvidently, a tractor-trailer carrying passenger vehicles was heading east on I-40 when one of the truck’s tires blew out, sending the truck across the median and into the westbound lanes of traffic. Eventually, the truck struck a guardrail on the other side of the roadway and overturned.

As the truck was careening out of control, a second truck heading westbound nearly collided with the out-of-control truck but narrowly avoided a collision. That truck driver came to a stop in the right-hand lane of I-40 westbound. However, as that truck was stopped, a third truck carrying diesel fuel came up from behind and crashed into it, igniting both trucks as a result.
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A woman was killed last week when her car was sideswiped by a semi-truck after she drove into an intersection in Lufkin, Texas Wednesday evening. According to an article by the Austin-American Statesman, the 18-year-old driver was the only occupant in her vehicle and was on her way to start college at Stephen F. Austin University in Nacogdoches, Texas when the accident occurred. According to an accident report referenced in the article, a stop sign at the intersection that would have alerted the woman of cross-traffic had been knocked down by a truck and was not visible at the time the woman approached the intersection.

stop-sign-1403571-m.jpgThe Dangers of Road Construction
Last week’s accident shows the dangers associated with driving in construction zones. Some of the most dangerous and deadly New Mexico semi-truck accidents either involve construction vehicles or occur in areas with ongoing construction. When construction projects close lanes or redirect traffic, drivers who are used to driving the affected routes can be confused by or fail to see warnings that are designed to alert them of the changing traffic conditions. If, as happened last week, a warning sign is not visible or functioning properly, the construction zone can be a virtual invitation to danger for drivers.

Who Is Responsible for an Accident Like This?

It can be difficult to ascertain who should be held responsible when an accident like this occurs. The person or party running a construction project has a duty to drivers to prevent or warn drivers from foreseeable harms and dangers associated with the construction project. Generally, this duty would include a duty to have proper signage and notice for drivers that will be affected by closures resulting from the construction. A construction company cannot be expected to prevent any and every possibility that a sign may not function properly, and whoever was responsible for knocking the sign over may also be somewhat responsible, depending on his or her knowledge of the condition.
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A federal district court ruled earlier this year that the plaintiffs’ claim alleging a freight company’s liability for injuries sustained in an accident caused by the negligence of a driver employed by another company hired to transport materials on the freight company’s behalf should be heard by a jury. In the case of Beavers v. Victorian, the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma rejected the defendants’ arguments that a motor carrier could not be held liable for negligently hiring an “independent contractor” that was at fault for injuries sustained in a semi truck accident.

truck-delivery-1042539-m.jpgThe Accident

The accident that led to the case occurred in February of 2011 in Colorado, when a car being driven by the two plaintiffs, a husband and wife, was hit by a semi-truck that they allege was being negligently operated by an incompetent driver. Both the husband and wife were seriously hurt and suffered traumatic brain injury as a result of the accident. The couple sued several parties to obtain compensation for the costs and loss associated with their injuries.

The Lawsuit

A lawsuit for negligence was filed against the truck driver and the company he worked for, but the company employing the driver was relatively small and new, and the plaintiffs were unlikely to be fully compensated by this smaller company and the driver alone. Therefore, the plaintiffs also sued the larger freight company that contracted with the smaller company and the driver involved in the accident. The complaint alleged that the larger company was vicariously liable for the driver’s negligence, and also that the larger company was negligent in hiring the smaller company, and therefore responsible for the damages sustained in the accident.
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A fatal accident occurred earlier this month in our neighboring state of Oklahoma. According to an article from CBS affiliate KXII News 12, a man driving a semi-truck crashed into another semi-truck which was illegally parked along the side of the road in Garvin County on July 3. It is not known why the driver of the parked truck, a 58 year old from Eufaula, Oklahoma, was parked on the shoulder of the interstate. But as the driver of the second truck approached, he was unable to avoid a serious collision and was killed. The driver of the first truck was not injured from the collision. Police are still investigating the accident further.

semi-mirror-2-26788-m.jpgThe Inherent Dangers of Semi-Trucks on the Interstate Highways.

Many goods and products are transported by semi-trucks on the interstate highways, which cross through New Mexico in several directions. The sheer amount of semi-truck traffic presents a danger to other drivers on the highways, and the long distances that semi-trucks often travel exacerbate truck maintenance or driver fatigue issues that may occur on the road. It appears that the first truck driver stopped on the side of the shoulder on the interstate away from an exit, which is against the law, and caused or contributed to this month’s accident. He could have been resting or potentially his truck had broken down, but whatever the cause of the accident, the end result was tragic.
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A deadly accident occurred on Interstate 10 in Hidalgo County in southwestern New Mexico last Thursday, engulfing six vehicles in flames, and killing seven people. According to a report by Albuquerque ABC affiliate KOAT 7, the accident was caused in part by a dust storm, which is a relatively common phenomenon around the highways in that part of the state. It appears that a car in front of the other vehicles entered the dust storm, which resulted in a near total loss of visibility, and slowed down substantially or came to a stop. Because of the poor visibility, the following cars crashed into the front vehicle at nearly full speed. Three of the following vehicles were semi-trucks, and the crash caused several explosions, setting six of the eight vehicles involved on fire.

pick-up-truck-in-dirt-road-1012854-m.jpgThe Dangers of Dust Storms in New Mexico

Many parts of New Mexico commonly have dust storms. When the storms move over roads and highways, driving can be incredibly dangerous. In this situation, a car that entered the dust storm slowed down considerably in a short period of time, and the following cars were unable to stop on time after seeing the vehicle in front of them. A chain reaction occurs as cars even farther behind are unable to stop. There are warning signs along I-10 and other roads where the storms are common in the state, but drivers repeatedly fail to prevent accidents when an unexpected dust storm blows over a highway.

What to Do When Driving into a Dust Storm

When driving New Mexico roads at freeway speeds, dust storms often are not noticeable until a few seconds before a driver enters into the storm. Authorities urge drivers not to slow down too much when entering a storm, and to maintain near highway speeds through the storm, which are usually between 30 yards and a mile long. It is also important for drivers to leave extra distance between themselves and the vehicle in front of them, in case an accident occurs ahead out of a driver’s vision. Recently, some auto companies have even released models with radar assisted systems that can notify a driver of accidents up ahead. In all cases, extreme caution must be exercised when driving through a dust storm. If a driver must stop, they should pull over as far away from the travel lanes to account for vehicles that may be traveling full speed behind them. Sadly, many drivers do not follow this protocol, and tragic accidents and deaths result.
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In recent years, New Mexico has become the nation’s sixth-largest oil producer. The boom in the petroleum industry has benefited New Mexico’s economy, creating thousands of new jobs, mostly in the southeast corner of the state. According to a report by Southern California Public Radio broadcaster KPCC, the growth of New Mexico’s oil industry has stretched the services thin in many rural New Mexico towns and contributed to a sharp increase in semi-truck traffic surrounding the oil fields and refining facilities.

oil-refinery-1318326-m.jpgAccording to the article, semi-truck tractor trailers hauling long cylinder tanks and heavy machinery are running non-stop on weekday mornings between Carlsbad and Hobbs in Eddy County. Several crashes between these trucks and other vehicles have occurred this year. Traffic has increased elsewhere as well, leading to a sharp uptick in traffic-related fatalities in the oil-producing regions of the state. So far in 2014, 10 people have been killed in traffic accidents. At least five of those fatalities have involved semi-trucks.

Truck drivers work long hours, often without enough rest. The repetitive nature of the driving, as well as the sheer number of large vehicles that have recently appeared in certain areas of the state, have increased the likelihood of dangerous accidents. The roads in the oil-producing parts of the state were not necessarily designed to handle large trucks, especially at the volume that they handle now. Rural New Mexico drivers have not previously had to worry about this type of traffic, and the sudden increase has caught many by surprise. In southeastern New Mexico, a coalition of towns has formed a task force to address the increase in traffic-related deaths. Additionally, the state legislature is considering legislation to fund highway improvements in the oil-producing counties.
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A fatal collision occurred last Wednesday when a 2006 Chrysler was hit by a FedEx semi-truck at an intersection near Greensburg, Kansas. Both the driver and passenger in the Chrysler were killed by the collision, and the driver of the tractor-trailer was treated at a local hospital and released.

desert-road-1435468-m.jpgThe Accident
In the early morning hours of April 30, 2014, a FedEx semi-truck was headed westbound on U.S. 54 en route to Arizona through New Mexico. According to an article on hutchnews.com, the Chrysler was traveling northbound on U.S. 183, when the driver of the car failed to yield the right of way after a stop sign at the intersection with U.S. 54. As a result, the semi-truck hit the car on the passenger side, and both vehicles ended up in a ditch. The driver and passenger of the car were killed at the scene. The Kansas Highway Patrol is conducting an investigation into exactly how the accident occurred.

Accidents Are Not Always as Simple as They Appear
The article states that the accident was caused when the driver of the car failed to yield the right of way to the semi-truck but also noted that an investigation was being performed by authorities. In this accident, the conditions were dark, and there were no eyewitnesses (other than the truck driver and the two deceased passengers), and it cannot be known exactly who is responsible for the accident until even more investigation is done.
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A report by the Current Argus news has pointed out that Eddy County, New Mexico has been a hub for traffic related deaths, and is now the county in New Mexico with the third highest number of deaths from traffic accidents this year. The reasons for the danger may vary, but all drivers should use caution when travelling on New Mexico roads, especially in Eddy County. New Mexico authorities are trying to pinpoint the causes of the danger and prevent more deaths on New Mexico roads.

Thumbnail image for old-truck-1357724-m.jpgThe Accidents
Earlier in April, a 50 year old woman was sideswiped by a semi-truck that was making a wide right turn in Loving, New Mexico and killed. It appears the semi-truck driver in that accident may not have seen the woman. More recently, on April 21, a 40 year old woman and her two young grandchildren were travelling northbound on County Road 206 when they were T-boned by a semi-truck at an intersection. According to police, the woman failed to yield the right of way to the truck and was hit while both vehicles were going full speed. The woman and her 3 year old granddaughter were pronounced dead at the scene and her one year old granddaughter was injured and is still being treated at an El Paso hospital.

The Dangers in Eddy County
According to the article, Eddy County roads may be more dangerous than other New Mexico roads because of the increase in traffic caused by the oil and natural gas extraction that occurs there. The increase in traffic, especially the large trucks that are involved in fuel extraction and production, results in more wear and tear on the roads, and could explain the increase in New Mexico truck accidents on Eddy County roads. The New Mexico legislature has been working on plans to reduce the number of fatalities. Laws have been proposed to repair the roads in New Mexico’s most dangerous counties, as well as to educate the public on the dangers and defensive driving techniques. While road conditions may be bad and traffic may be heavy, the best way to prevent tragic accidents is for New Mexico drivers to use attention and caution, and err on the side of safety.
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A terrible crash last week near Carlsbad, New Mexico killed a woman and injured her three children when a semi-truck made a wide turn directly in front of her vehicle, causing a collision.

south-african-road-1097295-m.jpgThe Accident
Early in the morning on April 14, a woman was driving with her three children, travelling southbound on the Loving Highway (US 285) in the right lane. According to a report by the Carlsbad Current-Argus, the driver of a semi-truck was in front of the woman’s vehicle in the left lane and attempted to make a right hand turn across both lanes of traffic, directing the truck directly in the woman’s path. The woman was unable to stop or avoid the collision, and slammed into the semi. The woman died at the scene, and all three of the children in the car were hospitalized with injuries from the crash.

Semi-Trucks Need to Make Wide Turns
As a vehicle gets longer, it becomes more difficult to make tight turns. As a result of this, semi-truck drivers frequently make wide turns, forcing them to impede multiple lanes of traffic as they perform the maneuver. Even if making a wide turn is unavoidable, it is the responsibility of a truck driver to ensure that the turn will not put them in the path of another vehicle. In last week’s accident, it appears that the driver of the truck did not notice the woman driving behind her and tried to make the turn, with tragic results.
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Late last month, a terrifying accident occurred just outside Albuquerque, New Mexico when a tractor trailer carrying a tank of water was rear-ended by another semi-truck and spilled its contents on the road, causing the second truck to overturn and leading to a complete closure of the westbound lanes of I-40 for several hours. Luckily, no other vehicles were involved in the accident.

tanker-truck-reflection-395160-m.jpgApparently, the water truck was traveling westbound on the highway when the second truck collided with it from behind. The semi-truck crash caused the tank on the water truck to rupture and spilled the entire contents on the interstate. Additionally, the impact disconnected the driver’s compartment of the second truck from the trailer and caused the cabin to turn on its side. The driver of the overturned truck was able to escape from the cab of his vehicle and hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries.

The crash, while certainly frightening for those involved and inconvenient to other commuters, was relatively harmless considering the possible outcomes. Semi-trucks often tow pressurized tanks of flammable or hazardous chemicals, and when they are involved in a collision, those chemicals can be spilled onto the road or into the atmosphere and cause devastating consequences. When a driver is involved in or confronted by an accident caused by a semi-truck, it is often difficult for them to avoid becoming part of the accident. In an accident like last month’s, where only water was spilled onto the roadway, the consequences are minor. When more dangerous chemicals are spilled as the result of an accident, innocent bystanders exposed to the chemicals can be seriously injured or even killed.
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A driver had a terrifying morning on the streets of Loving, New Mexico on March 7, when his car became wedged underneath a semi-truck and dragged through the street. According to a report from Current-Argus News, the truck – with the car underneath it – finally came to rest on a railroad crossing.

fall-railroad-1433371-1-m.jpgThe driver of the car reported that he was driving east down Grandi Road in Loving when a semi-truck crossed four lanes directly into him. His car became wedged into the space between the axles of the semi-truck as the truck drove on, dragging the car with it down the street. The driver then stopped the truck in the middle of a railroad crossing, in the path of an oncoming train. Luckily, the train was delayed and the driver emerged from his car uninjured. This was a dangerous situation that had a fortunate result, but auto accidents with semi-trucks often end much worse.

Semi-Trucks Have Larger Blind Spots

In the story above, the truck driver makes several lane changes at once across a city road. When driving a loaded semi-trailer there are large blind spots, or portions of the road along the sides of and behind the truck that the driver is unable to see. When truck drivers change lanes, they sometimes fail to notice other vehicles in their blind spot and will cause an accident. Even when a truck driver cannot see a vehicle in their blind spot, it is their responsibility not to cause an accident while changing lanes.
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As the result of a tragic semi-truck accident in southern New Mexico last month, two people waiting outside their pick-up truck that was parked on the side of I-10 are dead. According to a story by KRWG.org, a tractor trailer was traveling east on I-10 when it veered onto the shoulder and hit the two people standing next to a truck.

tanker-truck-reflection-395160-m.jpgBoth of the people who were hit by the tractor trailer died on impact. The driver of the tractor trailer was taken to the hospital complaining of chest pains.

Small Errors Can Come with Big Costs

The accident above could likely be another chapter in the saga of distracted driving. Most of us have probably at one time or another glanced away and then realized that we were veering into the other lane. However, this kind of distracted driving is negligent and may expose a driver to liability in favor of the accident victims or the accident victims’ families.

Cell Phones: The Most Common Culprit

Of all the things that can distract a driver from paying attention to the road ahead of him, cell phones are some of the most common. It seems like nearly everyone today uses a cell phone, and unfortunately, all too many of them use the phones while driving.
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file311277498611 morguefile username Alvimann.jpgThe United States District Court for the District of New Mexico has held that certain portions of expert testimony must be excluded in a lawsuit that was filed following a fatal semi-truck crash. In Tom v. SB, Inc., et. al, the estate of a man killed in a truck accident, Sam Tom, filed a lawsuit against the big rig driver who struck his vehicle and the trucking company that employed him. In the lawsuit, the plaintiff filed a motion for a Daubert hearing and a motion in limine to exclude certain testimony offered by the defendants’ expert witness, Ron Feder. The driver of the big rig also filed a motion in limine to exclude certain evidence offered by the plaintiff’s expert witness, Alan Asay.

A Daubert hearing is an evaluation that is performed by a trial judge to determine whether certain evidence is admissible in a federal lawsuit. The standard for admissibility is outlined in Rule 702 of the Federal Rules of Evidence. Following a Daubert hearing, a party will normally file a motion in limine to exclude certain unqualified evidence.

First, the New Mexico court discussed the appropriate standard of review regarding the proposed testimony of each party’s expert witness. According to the court, the expert’s “scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge” must be sufficient to aid the jury in determining issues of fact, the opinion must be based upon sufficient information, the opinion must be based upon reliable and accepted methods, and the methods must be applied to the facts of the case in a reliable manner.
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file000659198726 morguefile username marykbaird.jpgA New Mexico federal court has ordered a lawsuit stemming from a collision between two tractor trailers to trial. In Gleason v. Savine, a semi owned by FedEx Freight, Inc. and being operated by Alonzo Gleason struck the back of a big rig owned by Sparkling Snow, Inc. on Interstate 40 in Guadalupe County, New Mexico. Although Victor Savine and Oleh Sichkar were operating the Sparkling Snow truck under a co-driving agreement, it is unclear which man was driving the vehicle at the time of the 18-wheeler crash.

Following the accident, Gleason and FedEx filed a personal injury and property damage lawsuit against Savine, Sichkar, and Sparkling Snow. As part of the complaint, the plaintiffs alleged that Sichkar was liable for the collision based upon a theory of negligence and negligence per se. According to Sichkar, he was not driving the Sparkling Snow truck at the time of the semi-truck wreck. Sichkar also asserted that he committed no statutory violations that would give rise to a negligence per se claim. As a result, he filed a motion for summary judgment on both issues.

First, the New Mexico court stated in order to succeed on a negligence claim, a duty must be owed to a plaintiff, that duty must be breached, and the breach must be the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injury. Additionally, the court said New Mexico law requires that an injury be “a foreseeable result of the negligent act.” Sichkar claims he owed the plaintiffs no duty of care because he was a passenger in the Sparkling Snow tractor-trailer when the collision took place.
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file0001150955253 morguefile username vilhelm.jpgA federal court in New Mexico has stated a jury must decide whether the victim of an Albuquerque semi-truck accident should receive punitive damages from a negligent trucker. In Wood v. Bennett et al., Robin Wood was traveling east on Ouray Road when he collided with a tractor-trailer driven by Harry Bennett. Wood purportedly sustained serious injuries in the avoidable crash. At the time of the accident, Bennett was driving the big rig as part of his employment with Tennessee-based Western Express. Following the wreck, Wood sued both Bennett and his employer for “negligence, negligence per se and respondeat superior” in a New Mexico state court. Wood also asked the court to award him punitive damages from both defendants.

After the case was removed to federal court based on diversity of citizenship, both defendants stipulated liability due to Bennett’s negligence and filed a motion for summary judgment with regard to Wood’s punitive damages claim. According to the court, New Mexico law allows punitive damages to be awarded based upon both a direct and vicarious liability theory. Under a theory of direct liability, a plaintiff may receive punitive damages from a defendant who “engaged in conduct that was malicious, willful, reckless, wanton, fraudulent or in bad faith.” Vicarious liability holds an employer responsible for a worker’s conduct if it occurred within the scope of employment and the employer somehow participated in or authorized the conduct.

Because Wood offered testimony that Bennett willfully drove over the front of his vehicle while laughing and making an obscene gesture, the court found that a genuine issue of material fact with regard to punitive damages against Bennett existed. As a result, the court refused to grant summary judgment to Bennett.
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file3131254172967 morguefile username Alvimann.jpgA 57-year-old man was recently killed in a freak semi-truck accident on Highway 550 in Bernalillo. According to a representative for the New Mexico State Police, a big rig carrying a manufactured home struck a temporary power line as the large vehicle headed west near the Interstate 25 interchange. The power line purportedly became entangled in the roof of the mobile home and caused a wooden utility pole to snap and topple onto the cab of an eastbound pick-up truck. Sadly, the 57-year-old driver of the pick-up truck died at the accident scene.

The highway was closed in both directions for about six hours while the New Mexico State Police investigated the fatal incident. Police stated the wreck occurred in a road construction zone and it was not clear whether the temporary power line was properly installed. Additionally, police are reportedly investigating whether the driver of the semi obtained the correct permits prior to transporting the manufactured home.

All drivers should be aware of the dangers associated with sharing the roadway with semi-trucks. Each year, truckers negligently hurt or kill many motorists travelling on the various interstates, highways, and other roadways located throughout the State of New Mexico. In fact, about 1,400 large truck crashes occur on roads in our state annually. 18-wheeler crashes may be caused by a number of reasons including driver distraction, fatigue, impairment, dangerous lane changes, speeding, aggressive driving, tailgating, and more. In addition, many truck drivers fail to properly inspect their vehicles for preventable safety hazards such as worn tires or brakes and malfunctioning lights.
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file000345583565 morguefile username dee.jpgA recent semi-truck crash in the northbound lanes of Interstate 25 near Bernalillo has left three people dead. According to New Mexico State Police, a pick-up truck that was headed south unexpectedly crossed the median of the interstate and drove directly into the path of an 18-wheeler that was headed in the opposite direction. Sadly, the three individuals who were travelling in the pick-up were killed in the crash. The driver of the semi-truck was apparently not hurt in the avoidable collision.

The exact cause of the deadly night-time wreck is currently under investigation by the state police. The roadway was closed for several hours following the crash as debris from both vehicles was reportedly scattered over at least 100 feet of the freeway. It is unclear whether any of the decedents were wearing a safety belt at the time of the fatal incident.

Approximately 1,400 deadly or serious big rig crashes occur across New Mexico each year. Unfortunately, semi-truck accidents are generally severe due to the sheer size of the vehicles involved. On average, a person sustains a disabling injury in one out of every 15 New Mexico truck crashes and someone is killed in one out of every 35 accidents that involve a semi. In contrast, an individual is killed in only one out of every 130 non-truck collisions. According to New Mexico law enforcement officials, about one-fourth of all 18-wheeler wrecks are caused by an inattentive or otherwise distracted driver.
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877374_truck sxchu username mc2006.jpgIn May, a big rig flipped and nearly went over the edge of an overpass that connects Interstates 25 and 40 in Albuquerque. According to local police, the truck driver was going too fast and carrying an unsecured semi-truck load when he lost control of the heavy vehicle. Despite that the 18-wheeler did not roll off of the overpass, the structure itself was reportedly heavily damaged. Road crews were apparently called out to repair the overpass before traffic was allowed to resume travel on the interchange. Albuquerque police allegedly ticketed the driver of the semi for an expired registration, speeding, and failure to secure the load he was hauling.

Although no one was seriously hurt in this avoidable big rig accident, many people are injured or killed by negligent semi-truck drivers like this one in New Mexico and across the United States each year. Annually, approximately 1,400 traffic wrecks in New Mexico involve a tractor-trailer. In addition, a driver or passenger is killed in one out of every 35 semi accidents that occur in our state. Meanwhile, only one out of every 130 non-semi crashes proves fatal.

Lawsuits that are brought following an 18-wheeler crash are generally different than simple car accidents because they usually involve unique types of evidence. For example, big rig drivers are required by federal law to maintain a number of records to document the amount of time they spend traveling on the roads each day. Additionally, on-board computers and other technology normally provide accident investigators with relevant information regarding the events that led up to a truck accident. Because of this, a crash investigation can be extremely complicated.

According to police reports, nearly one-fourth of all 18-wheeler wrecks in our state are caused by a distracted or inattentive driver. Other factors also include speeding, an improperly secured load, driver fatigue or impairment, and poor vehicle maintenance.

Someone who was hurt in a New Mexico big rig collision may be eligible to receive compensation for their pain and suffering, lost wages and benefits, any resulting disability, and any related medical expenses. The spouse, child, or parent of someone who was killed in a wreck with an 18-wheeler may also be able to recover the costs associated with their loved one’s funeral and other damages. If you were harmed by the actions of a semi-truck driver, you should contact an experienced lawyer as soon as possible.
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1228351_old_truck sxchu username ilco.jpgA 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.
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33024_40_mph sxchu username DavidNetk.jpgA tragic crash on New Mexico State Road 68 in Española has left two people dead and another person hurt. According to Eric Garcia, Director of Española Public Safety, a southbound passenger vehicle carrying two people was traveling at a high rate of speed when a large flatbed truck that was carrying a backhoe pulled out into one of the southbound lanes. The small passenger car reportedly bounced off of van before striking the truck.

Tragically, the force of the morning New Mexico truck accident apparently caused the backhoe to come off of the trailer and strike the car. The roof of the car was purportedly ripped off and both the 19-year-old driver and her 21-year-old passenger were killed instantly. In addition, emergency responders transported the driver of the truck to Presbyterian Española Hospital for treatment. The driver of the van was apparently uninjured.

The exact cause of the fatal crash is currently under investigation by the Española Police Department. Garcia stated investigators believe excessive speed likely played a role in the traffic wreck. In addition, he said the flatbed truck was carrying a great deal of weight.

A recent Truck Safety Coalition report claims New Mexico ranks seventh in the nation for traffic deaths involving a big truck. Additionally, more than 2,000 traffic collisions that occur in New Mexico each year involve a tractor-trailer or other commercial truck. Big rig crashes may be caused by a variety of factors including driver impairment, excessive load weights, fatigue, inadequate driver training, and poor vehicle maintenance.

Commercial truck accidents are generally different than normal automobile crashes because they often involve unique pieces of evidence that do not exist in other collisions. The victim of a truck accident may be eligible to recover damages for pain and suffering, lost wages and benefits, medical costs, and any temporary or permanent disability that resulted from the incident. Certain relatives of someone who was killed in a crash with a commercial truck may also be entitled to receive funeral expenses and other damages. If you were injured by a negligent commercial truck driver, you should contact a quality lawyer as soon as you are able.
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