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Fatal Rear End Trucking Accident on I-10 in NM

Understanding What Happened in the Fatal Rear End Trucking Accident on I-10 in NM

New Mexico State Police have reported a fatal rear end trucking accident on I-10 in Grant County, NM.  Police responded to a call for a big rig crash on May 19, 2021 at around 5:30 PM at the rest stop on I-10 in Grant County.  This was near milepost 53 which is between Deming and Lordsburg, NM.  Police arrived at the scene to find four tractor trailers were involved in the collision.  The following vehicle driven by the victim, a 33-year-old Texas man named Steven Carpenter, appears to have collided with the rear end of another tractor trailer that was taking the exit for the rest stop.  Carpenter’s truck continued past the first truck and collided into a second tractor trailer that was parked along the entrance lane.  The force of this impact propelled that truck into a third tractor trailer that was also parked.  As a result of the collision, Carpenter from El Paso, Texas was pronounced deceased at the scene.  Two other truck drivers suffered injuries in the crash.

Here at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C., our experienced trucking accident lawyers extend our deepest condolences to the Carpenter family and the families of the other two truck drivers who were injured in the collision.  We know that any type a loved one is injured at work it can place a huge and overwhelming burden on families.  This is particularly true when a loved one is catastrophically injured, disabled, or wrongfully killed.  Our dedicated and experienced law firm ensures that victims and their families are well-represented and protected from crippling financial harm caused by a defendant’s negligence.

Liability in the I-10 Crash

New Mexico State Police are still investigating the crash and there can be no findings of guilt or liability at this time.  However, based on the facts, there are some important points to make.

First, rear end collisions usually result in liability for the vehicle striking from the rear.  This is under both the statutory law and the common law.  Under NM Stat Section 66-7-318, subdivision (A) provides that “[t]he driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicles and the traffic upon and the condition of the highway.”  

A motorist who follows too closely and cannot stop resulting in a crash can result in a deadly collision and be liable for violating this statute under the doctrine of negligence per se.  The doctrine of negligence per se says that the victim of a crash who was protected by a state that was violated by the defendant may be able to automatically prove liability against the defendant.  This helps a victim focus on the damages aspect of a case (proving what is owed) as opposed to having to worry about establishing liability and then damages.

In addition, the common law (or judge-made law) provides that all motorist must exercise reasonable care in the use or operation of a motor vehicle.  Colliding with the rear end of another vehicle, especially a stopped vehicle, is usually deemed unreasonable and will result in liability.

Second, the trucking company employing Carpenter may be at fault.  The facts lead to the fact that there could have been a mechanical defect.  That could subject the trucking company to liability for failing to maintain, inspect, and properly repair their fleet of big rigs.  As a result, victims injured in this I-10 crash may have a claim against the trucking company itself.

Third, even if there was no mechanical defect, the fact that Carpenter was employed by the trucking company means that the trucking company could be found liable for the accident under the doctrine of respondet superior.  This means that an employee’s actions can bind an employer in a crash.

Were You Hurt in an I-10 Trucking Accident?  Call Our Law Firm for Help

If you or a loved one were hurt in the Grant County trucking accident occurring on May 19, 2021, or if you were injured in any other type of I-10 trucking accident, learn how we can help you.  Our experienced trucking accident lawyers in Albuquerque, NM at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C. stand ready to help families recover what they need and deserve for medical bills, lost wages, loss of consortium, property damage, and for pain and suffering.  

We handle causes throughout New Mexico, including Las Cruces, Santa Fe, Roswell, Cuervo, Rio Rancho, Clovis, Farmington, Hobbs, Albuquerque where our office is located, and anywhere else throughout New Mexico.  Please call to schedule for FREE appointment by dialing (505) 883-5000 or contact us through our website’s easy to use and convenient contact box available here.