Last week, an unidentified woman was struck by an 18-wheeler and killed on Interstate 10 near Deming. According to the New Mexico State Police, an emergency call came in around 1:30 am on June 18th. The caller reportedly stated a pedestrian was hit by an eastbound semi-truck on I-10 near Exit 81. The first responding officer discovered a deceased woman in the roadway.
The semi-truck driver, 51-year-old Kelly Swafford, was reportedly unaware he struck anyone. He stated that he thought his truck blew a tire, and pulled off of the road in order to inspect the damage. After he saw the front of the truck was damaged and found a boot and another personal item wedged into the truck’s grill, Swafford notified law enforcement officers that he believed he hit someone. Swafford allegedly told a representative from the New Mexico State Police that he was eating chips at the time of the accident and may not have had his eyes on the road at the time of the impact. A report filed by the Luna County Sheriff's Office, who helped provide traffic control following the crash, stated the boot stuck in Swafford’s truck matched a boot found near Exit 81. According to the New Mexico State Patrol, the accident is currently under investigation and the driver of the 18-wheeler was not detained.
It is common to see semi-trucks on roadways throughout New Mexico. 18-wheelers are an especially familiar feature of the landscape as you approach Interstates 10, 25, and 40. Too often, these big rigs cause accidents that can leave victims with serious or fatal injuries. Every year, more than 2,000 collisions involving 18-wheelers occur in New Mexico. Big rig accidents are caused by a number of factors including driver fatigue, excessive load weights, defective brakes, and impaired driving. Unfortunately, one of the most common causes for such accidents is an inattentive driver, as was apparently the case here.
Truck accident victims may be eligible to receive financial compensation for their pain, suffering, lost wages, disability, and medical expenses. The close relatives of someone killed by a semi-truck driver may also be eligible to recover funeral expenses and other damages. Although the victim in a New Mexico truck accident has up to three years to file a case, it is important to speak with a qualified attorney as soon as possible in order to protect your legal rights.
A wrongful death case involves a fatality caused by the negligence or inattentiveness of another person. In New Mexico, a case for wrongful death must be brought by a representative of the plaintiff’s estate. Because of this, choosing a personal representative is often the first step in proceeding with a wrongful death case. If you lost a family member in an accident caused by someone else, an experienced Albuquerque wrongful death lawyer can discuss the process for filing your claim with you in more detail.