There are a deadly trucking accident earlier this week about 15 miles west of Adrian, Texas. This is a small town in Oldham County which borders our New Mexico south-eastern border. Police and newspapers are reporting that two people were killed and one person was seriously injured in a semi tractor trailer crash on I-40. The the Texas Department of Public Safety is advising the semi tractor trailer was driven by a 30-year-old from Columbus, Ohio and was traveling west on I-40 into New Mexico. A smaller passenger vehicle driving by a 26-year-old from Illinois was behind the truck and lose control. The vehicle struck the semi tractor trailer and all occupants were ejected from the vehicle. The vehicle caught fire and two individuals were pronounced dead at the scene. One was airlifted to the hospital with life-threatening injuries but in stable condition. The truck driver was not injured in the crash.
This is a tragic case for many reasons. The truck driver, driver of the passenger vehicle, and the passengers were all between 21 and 30 years old. The loss of such youth is sad and devastating. Our Albuquerque trucking accident lawyers mourn with the families and friends of these families who lost loved ones.
This case is also tragic because it could have been avoided. While the details are still few as the investigation is ongoing, it appears there is some negligence here.
The passenger vehicle driver lost control of his vehicle. This is a violation of both statutory law which requires motorists to maintain their vehicle, but also the common law which requires motorists to exercise reasonable care in the use or operation of their motor vehicle. When a motorist loses control and collides with another vehicle, that driver has likely violated statutory and common law. It also says that the passenger vehicle may have lost control due to speeding, which is also a violation of the law.
At first glance it does not appear that the truck driver may have done anything negligent. However, the investigation is still ongoing. Potential issues could be if the truck driver lost control and swerved into the lane of the passenger vehicle, if the truck driver attempted to make a lane change without a signal, or if the truck driver braked hard and without warning. These are factors that could have caused or contributed to the crash.
All passengers were not wearing seatbelts. This raises the issue of the “seatbelt defense,” which is where a defendant can argue that a victim’s injuries were causes exclusively by or worsened by the non-use of a seatbelt. However, in New Mexico there is no common law or statutory law seatbelt defense. This means that the passengers are not going to have their claims blocked by the use of this doctrine.
Our experienced Albuquerque trucking accident lawyers handle cases throughout New Mexico and neighboring states. If you lost a loved one in this Texas crash on the NM-TX border, ask the Caruso Law Offices, P.C. how we can help protect your rights to compensation for the wrongful death or serious injuries of a loved one. Learn what your rights to compensation may be under New Mexico law in your FREE case evaluation by dialing (505) 883-5000.
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.