Recently, an appellate court issued an opinion in a wrongful death case in which a man was killed after rear-ending a slow-moving tractor trailer. The tragedy was heightened by the fact that the victim’s sons witnessed his body burning, and his family suffered severe emotional distress as a result of learning of his death. The case acts as a good example of how New Mexico wrongful death cases are handled by courts.
In 2012, a man was driving his tractor trailer on the highway when he realized that his truck was malfunctioning. He pulled over, turned on his flashers, and exited his car to inspect the malfunctioning light; he was ultimately able to resolve the issue. The driver proceeded to reenter the highway and was driving approximately 15 miles an hour when the victim came around a curve and crashed into the slow-moving tractor trailer.
Tragically, the crash caused the victim’s vehicle to immediately catch on fire, and he was killed instantly. The victim’s son was also driving on the highway in a company truck. The son saw his father in the cab of the vehicle and tried to pull him out and extinguish the fire, but he ended up sustaining severe burns and could not rescue his father. He witnessed his father’s body burning.