June 2012 Archives

June 26, 2012

Pedestrian Killed by 18-Wheeler on I-10 Near Deming

232051_semi-truck_1%20sxchu.jpgLast 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.

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June 26, 2012

Two Killed, Four Injured in I-25 Rollover Crash Near Hatch

565019_old_tyres%20sxchu.jpgTwo people died Tuesday morning after the vehicle they were traveling in rolled in a single-car crash on Interstate 25 between Hatch and Las Cruces, New Mexico. A sport utility vehicle carrying a group of relatives was traveling southbound on the way to Chihuahua, Mexico when it reportedly blew a tire and left the roadway. Four of the six passengers traveling in the SUV were ejected from the vehicle. One man, 50-year-old Daniel Chavez, was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. Another passenger, Elsa Hernandez of Albuquerque, later died as a result of her injuries. Emergency responders transported the four survivors to University Medical Center in El Paso. At least two of the survivors were taken to the hospital via medical helicopter. According to New Mexico State Police, none of the vehicle’s passengers was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.

Tragically, people are killed in motor vehicle accidents while traveling on New Mexico roads each and every day. Crashes may be caused by any number of factors including driver inattention, drunken or reckless driving, hazardous road conditions, or automobile defects. Those hurt in a car accident may be eligible to receive compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering, and any disability that resulted from the crash. Additionally, those who lose a close relative in a New Mexico auto accident may be able to collect damages for loss of support and funeral expenses. If you lost a beloved family member in a car crash, a qualified Albuquerque wrongful death attorney can answer any questions you may have.

In some cases, a defective product such as a tire or vehicle may cause someone to become injured. Products are generally defective when they are poorly or negligently designed, manufactured, or tested and someone is injured as a result. A design defect can occur if someone is injured by a product such as a sport utility vehicle even where it was manufactured according to specifications. Additionally, a manufacturing defect may occur where an individual is hurt as a result of errors made during the manufacturing process. If you were the victim in a New Mexico product liability case, you may have the right to receive compensation for your injuries from the manufacturer or the distributor of the faulty product.

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June 18, 2012

Santa Fe Police Chase Ends in Deadly Crash

452519_wrecked_car%20sxchu.jpgA 21-year-old Santa Fe man is dead following a brief police chase in April. Juan Pablo Martinez was killed when he allegedly fled from a police officer who attempted to pull him over for speeding and crashed into a wall on Siringo Road near Santa Fe High School. Martinez was reportedly not wearing a seat belt and was thrown from his Dodge Neon upon impact. According to police, the force of the impact ripped the Neon in two. Martinez died at the scene of the accident. A police cruiser driven by Santa Fe Police Officer Ryan Alira Maez was not damaged or involved in the crash.

At the time of the accident, Martinez was already scheduled for a pre-trial hearing in Santa Fe County Magistrate Court on evading the police and reckless driving charges stemming from a February 3, 2012 incident. Although Martinez pleaded not guilty to the February charges, the 21-year-old man pleaded no contest to charges of speeding 21 to 25 miles per hour over the posted limit in Bernalillo County Magistrate Court in January. Martinez was also cited at the time for failing to provide officers with proof of automobile insurance. The insurance charge was later dismissed.

New Mexico State Police are currently investigating the incident because a Santa Fe police officer was pursing Martinez at the time of the fatal accident. According to Lt. Robert McDonald, a police accident investigator, there was no evidence Martinez was under the influence of alcohol of drugs at the time of the crash. Still, toxicology tests will be conducted. Although Officer Maez stated he only pursued Martinez for a few blocks, authorities have not yet determined the speed at which the deceased driver was traveling when the deadly accident occurred.

New Mexico residents regularly spend long hours in their cars every day. Unfortunately, this means accidents are bound to occur. Car accidents may be caused by a variety of factors including reckless, drunk, or inattentive drivers, motor vehicle defects, and hazardous road conditions. Drivers who are speeding, preoccupied by cell phones, and sending text messages can also be a hazard to everyone on the road. Disabling injuries and death often result from drivers who engage in unsafe behavior behind the wheel.

Although still tragic, it is fortunate that the driver in this instance did not injure anyone else. If you were hurt by a reckless, negligent, or careless driver, you may be eligible to receive financial compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, any resulting disability, pain, suffering, and a variety of other damages. A knowledgeable New Mexico car accident attorney can explain your rights and help you file your case.

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June 8, 2012

Cement Truck Driver in Fatal Clovis Accident Reportedly Tried to Avoid Collision

1334532_ambulance.jpgA cement truck driver who was involved in a recent fatal accident in Clovis stated he was attempting to avoid a collision when he lost control of the vehicle and it rolled. According to an accident report, 32-year-old Guadalupe Lopez allegedly told law enforcement officers he was headed north on Norris Street in a Mack truck with a concrete mixer attached when he noticed a vehicle in front of him was stopped at a traffic signal. Lopez reportedly steered the fully loaded cement truck to the right in an effort to avoid hitting the stopped vehicle. Instead, the cement truck overturned and rolled on top of a two-door 2011 Toyota driven by 54-year-old Shirley Garcia as she slowed to make a turn at the upcoming intersection. Garcia’s passenger, 29-year-old Crystal Sutherland, died at the scene of the crash. Garcia and another passenger, Susan Trujillo, were taken to Plains Regional Medical Center for non-life threatening injuries.

The exact cause of the crash is currently under investigation by the Clovis Police Department’s Major Crash Reconstruction Team. According to Police Captain Patrick Whitney, the cement truck owned by Griego and Sons Concrete rolled due to a combination of a high center of gravity and hitting a curb. The weight of the concrete also reportedly contributed to the incident. Although neither driver was suspected of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash, both drivers submitted to voluntary toxicology testing. Captain Whitney refused to say whether either driver will be charged as a result of the fatal collision.

An automobile accident can occur unexpectedly, at any time. Unfortunately, the injuries that often result from a car crash can be devastating. If you were hurt by a reckless, negligent, or careless driver, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your medical expenses, suffering, pain, lost wages, any resulting disability, and a variety of other damages. If your close relative was tragically killed in a New Mexico car or truck accident, you may also be eligible to file a wrongful death claim in order to relieve some of your financial burden. A qualified New Mexico truck accident attorney can help.

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