New Mexico State Police report that a Cuervo, NM auto accident killed Mary Lee Kelley, 63, of St. Louis, Missouri. The crash occurred last week on I-40 just east of Cuervo, New Mexico.

Details in Fatal Cuervo, NM Auto Accident Emerge

According to news reports, St. Louis, Missouri resident Mary Lee Kelley, 63, passed away in the fatal I-40 Cuervo, NM auto accident last week.  New Mexico State Police say that Mary Lee Kelley was a passenger in a van that crashed at 6 AM on Wednesday, June 26, 2019.  Police report that the van was driven by a 30-year-old woman also from St. Louis.  The van struck an unoccupied SUV that was parked on Interstate 40’s highway shoulder.  The driver was treated at the scene and another 18-year-old passenger was airlifted to Albuquerque for treatment.  There were also six children in the van who were also transported to the hospital for injuries.  Ms. Mary Lee Kelley tragically passed away at the scene of the Cuervo, NM auto accident.

Here at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C., we know that this is a horrific and devastating motor vehicle crash that occurred.  Our law firm represents individuals who have been seriously injured or wrongfully killed in New Mexico auto accidents, including accidents such as the fatal Cuervo, NM auto accident that took Mary Lee Kelley’s life.  We offer free consultations to families to understand what their rights to compensation may be.  Call our experienced Albuquerque auto accident lawyer to schedule your FREE appointment today by dialing (505) 883-5000.

Liability in Fatal Cuervo, NM Auto Accident Case on I-40

Interstate auto accidents usually result in serious personal injuries or the wrongful death of an occupant.  This is because higher speeds generate greater momentum and impact force.  This is true even if one of the motor vehicles involved in the crash is at a standstill like the SUV that was in the highway shoulder.

Initially, it must be said that passengers of any type of New Mexico auto accident very rarely have any fault for the crash.  This is known as comparative fault or comparative liability, meaning that the victim contributed to his or her injuries.  Someone that is comparatively at fault will have his or her recovery lowered by that amount.  For instance, someone 20% at fault will have his or her recover lowered by 20%.  

But here, based on the facts reported by the New Mexico State Police, it is highly unlikely that Mary Lee Kelley had any comparative fault for this crash as a passenger in the van.  It is also highly unlikely that the six other children, who were also passengers and suffered personal injuries, were comparatively at fault.

What does this mean to Ms. Kelley’s family?  That the estate may be entitled to recover full compensation for Ms. Kelley’s injuries and wrongful death without any fault attributed to her.  

Liability Against the Van Driver or Against the Parked SUV

It is obvious that the most likely liable person is the van driver that hit the parked SUV.  This is because she was in control of the vehicle and attendant circumstances.  She has a duty to see what there is to be seen to avoid a collision.  She also needs to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances in the use and operation of her motor vehicle.  Hitting a parked vehicle on the shoulder of I-40 is likely not reasonable care under the circumstances.

In addition, the parked SUV may also have some fault for the collision. Depending on the circumstances, disabled vehicles need to act reasonably to ensure that they are seen on the shoulder of a highway.  This includes having lights on and hazardous flashing, even in daylight.  There is no report as to whether the SUV was entirely in the shoulder, as there could be an issue if the vehicle was not properly in the shoulder of the roadway.  Moreover, vehicles are not permitted to stop on a highway shoulder unless there is an emergency.  Thus, if the driver was stopped to use a cell phone for a non-emergency reason, eat, or engage in anything that is non-urgent, that could result in comparative fault for the SUV driver.

Mary Lee Kelley’s Family Shoulder Call our Albuquerque Auto Accident Lawyer

Even though Mary Lee Kelley is from Missouri, she will still need a New Mexico auto accident lawyer to navigate New Mexico’s wrongful death laws.  This is where the auto accident occurred, and this is where the claim will likely need to be proven.  Thus, the victims and families of this Cuervo, NM auto accident should call the Caruso Law Offices, P.C. by dialing (505) 883-5000 to protect their rights to compensation. 

We handle cases throughout New Mexico, including in Lordsburg, Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Santa Fe, Roswell, or anywhere else. Call the Caruso Law Offices, P.C. by dialing (505) 883-5000 to learn how we can help.  You can also contact us on our website through the easy to use and convenient Contact box located by clicking here.