August 2012 Archives

August 29, 2012

NHTSA Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over Campaign Continues Through Labor Day in New Mexico, Nationwide

1209275_cold_beer_glass_isolated_on_white%20sxchu%20username%20engindeniz.jpgThe National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently implemented a crackdown on drunk driving in the State of New Mexico and across the country. The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign began on August 17th and is scheduled to last throughout the Labor Day weekend. According to the NHTSA, impaired or inebriated driving killed more than 10,000 people across the country in 2010, including 147 individuals over Labor Day weekend alone. In all 50 states and Puerto Rico, drivers with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher are considered to be impaired.

As part of the campaign, law enforcement agencies across the nation are engaging in both publicity campaigns and high-visibility enforcement of state drunk driving laws. According to the NHTSA, sobriety checkpoints, a lager law enforcement presence, and an effective educational campaign are being implemented in order to increase awareness regarding the often fatal consequences of driving while intoxicated.

In response, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) issued a statement in support of the NHTSA’s Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over safety campaign. According to MADD, nearly 40 percent of all traffic deaths involve a drunk or impaired driver. The organization’s President, Jan Withers, stated efforts such as the current safety campaign have been shown to reduce impaired driving fatalities by as much as 20 percent. MADD also reportedly expressed its support for a new federal transportation bill, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century, designed to reduce or eliminate drunk driving. The organization has agreed to provide $29 million for high-visibility impaired driving crackdowns during each of the next three years.

MADD encouraged anyone who plans on celebrating the upcoming Labor Day weekend with alcohol to plan ahead and designate a driver or make other transportation arrangements. According to Withers, 100 percent of all drunken driving fatalities could be eliminated simply by planning ahead.

Alcohol-related accidents are common in New Mexico. Sadly, everyone who travels on the roadways in our state is placed at risk whenever a drunk or impaired driver chooses to get behind the wheel of a vehicle. The victim of an impaired driver may file a claim for any damages he or she incurs as a result of a drunken driving accident. If you a loved one were hurt by an impaired or inebriated driver, you should contact a capable New Mexico drunk driving attorney as soon as you are able.

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August 27, 2012

Motorcyclist Killed on I-25 in Albuquerque

503504_harley%20sxchu%20uername%20crismkb.jpgLast weekend, a fatal motorcycle accident closed southbound Interstate 25 in Albuquerque for several hours. According to law enforcement officers, 52-year-old Fred Drake was headed south on his Harley Davidson motorcycle when he reportedly swerved and lost control near a curve in the roadway. Drake struck a pick-up truck that was parked on the shoulder to aid a stranded motorist. The motorcyclist then slid beneath and became lodged under the truck. Sadly, Drake was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. No other injuries were reported.

According to Albuquerque Police Officer Nelson Sanchez, several vehicles were involved in the crash. He stated it appears that another vehicle struck Drake’s motorcycle immediately before it left the roadway. The exact cause of the crash is currently under investigation. Although alcohol is not a suspected factor in the collision, Drake was reportedly traveling at a high rate of speed and was not wearing a protective helmet.

Whether you are riding your motorcycle, driving in your automobile, or merely walking down the street, a collision caused by a negligent driver can occur at any time. Unfortunately, the injuries sustained in a New Mexico motorcycle accident are normally catastrophic or fatal. Too often, individuals who choose to ride motorcycles face stereotypes that can have an effect on their right to recovery. If you were injured or a loved one was killed by a careless driver while riding a motorcycle, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your medical expenses, any resulting disability, pain and suffering, lost wages, funeral expenses, and other damages. If you were hurt while riding your motorcycle in New Mexico, you should contact a skilled personal injury lawyer.

According to the nation’s Department of Transportation, nearly 40,000 fatal motorcycle accidents occur throughout the United States each year. On average, less than half of those killed were wearing a safety helmet. Additionally, speed reportedly played a factor in more than 40 percent of fatal motorcycle collisions. Still, New Mexico is a comparative fault accident state. Because of this, a motorcycle accident victim may receive damages for his or her injuries even if the motorcyclist was partially responsible for the crash. It is always a good idea to contact an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer after any collision in New Mexico.

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August 26, 2012

Santa Rosa Semi Truck Accident

A recent semi truck accident has left an impact on numerous families as it has caused multiple deaths and serious injuries. The truck accident happened on Interstate 40 near Santa Rosa and US 84.

According to reports, a semi truck driver struck a passenger car causing the death of of the driver and then crossed a median into oncoming Interstate 40 traffic which resulted in another fiery crash with a different semi truck.

Had this New Mexico semi truck accident occurred during the winter months one would suspect poor weather was the cause, however, for the accident to occur in August, it is difficult to imagine what exactly the driver was doing that caused the accident.

Ofter times a semi truck driver's conduct is managed by various trucking regulations and it seems very likely that some of these truck regulations were violated immediately prior to the accident, as well as some of New Mexico's traffic regulations.

August 19, 2012

Driver Hurt in 18-Wheeler Crash on I-10 Near Vado

232054_semi-truck_4%20sxchu%20jpsdg.jpgLast week, a semi truck driver was hurt in New Mexico and traffic was backed up for hours after two 18-wheelers crashed on eastbound Interstate 10 near mile marker 155 in Vado. According to an accident witness, Jorge Robles, the collision occurred after a white 18-wheeler attempted to merge onto the interstate directly in the path of a blue semi carrying a load of green chiles and watermelons. According to Robles, the driver of the blue semi attempted to avoid the collision by slamming on his brakes. The vehicle’s tires reportedly began to smoke as the driver tried to slow the truck. The blue truck was allegedly unable to stop, however, and struck the rear left side of the white 18-wheeler. According to Robles, the blue semi then flipped and his load of produce was spread across the roadway.

The driver of the blue 18-wheeler, 41-year-old Luchann Cunningham of Freeman, Virginia, was reportedly severely injured in the crash. Although an emergency helicopter was initially summoned, he was taken to University Medical Center in El Paso by ambulance. The other driver, a 51-year-old Arizona man, was not hurt in the collision. Additionally, a 41-year-old police officer collapsed while working at the scene of the accident. Lt. Robert Potter was transported to Memorial Medical Center in Las Cruces where he later died as a result of a massive heart attack. Following the accident, New Mexico State Police closed the roadway for several hours so the produce could be removed from the freeway.

Each year, more than 2,000 collisions involving semi trucks occur in the State of New Mexico. Big rig crashes are normally caused by driver fatigue, defective brakes, excessive load weights, and drunk or impaired driving. New Mexico 18-wheeler accidents are unusual as they often involve unique pieces of evidence. For example, black boxes and on board computers can provide investigators with significant details regarding the events that lead up to a truck crash. Additionally, drivers are required to maintain log books and other records to document the amount of time they spend on the road each day.

If the driver of an 18-wheeler acted negligently, you may be able to recover financial compensation from his or her employer for any injuries you sustain as a result. Truck accident victims may be awarded damages for their suffering, pain, medical expenses, lost wages, and any temporary or permanent disability. Despite that the victim in a New Mexico semi truck accident has up to three years to file a lawsuit, anyone injured by an 18-wheeler should discuss their case with a capable attorney as soon as possible following the accident.

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August 13, 2012

Couple Who Lost Unborn Baby in San Miguel County Accident Seek Stricter New Mexico DWI Laws

1209277_cold_beer_glass_isolated_on_white%20sxchu%20username%20engindeniz.jpgA Colorado couple is pushing for stricter driving while intoxicated laws in the State of New Mexico after losing their unborn child in a crash. In June, Aileen Smith was seven months pregnant and traveling as a passenger on Interstate 25 through northern New Mexico with her husband, Zach. The couple was headed to a baby shower being held in their honor in San Diego. While driving in San Miguel County, a Pontiac driven by 43-year-old Ramon Hernandez allegedly attempted to merge onto the freeway and crossed in front of the Smiths’ vehicle. Zach Smith was unable to stop the couple's Suzuki Grand Vitara and struck the side of the Pontiac. During the crash, Aileen Smith suffered a broken sternum and abdominal contusions. She was taken to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center in Santa Fe where physicians performed an emergency Caesarian section in an unsuccessful attempt to save the Smiths’ unborn child. The baby reportedly died as a result of massive head trauma sustained in the accident.

Following the crash, Hernandez was arrested on suspicion of felony driving while intoxicated and charged with injuring a pregnant woman. The second charge was later amended to vehicular homicide. According to New Mexico motor vehicle records, Hernandez, a Las Vegas, New Mexico resident, was previously convicted on four separate occasions for driving while intoxicated. Additionally, his driver’s license was revoked at the time of the collision with the Smiths. Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to both charges and remains in custody on a $25,000 bond.

Unfortunately, alcohol-related crashes are common in New Mexico. Every person traveling on the roadways in our state is placed at risk of harm when a drunk or impaired driver makes the choice to get behind the wheel. When someone is accused of driving while intoxicated, criminal charges may be filed. The victim of an injury that was caused by an allegedly impaired driver may also choose to file a claim to recover financial compensation for pain and suffering, medical expenses, and other damages. Additionally, where a drunk driver’s liability insurance limits are insufficient to cover all of a victim’s damages, an injured person may also opt to file a lawsuit against the bar or restaurant that served alcohol to the driver prior to the crash. A capable drunk driving attorney can fully explain how to file a dram shop case.

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August 10, 2012

Fatal Semi Truck Accident on Highway 70

Details are emerging from New Mexico's latest fatal accident on Highway 70 in Chaves County outside of Roswell, New Mexico. According to initial reports, the wrongful death accident occurred when a semi truck driver was not paying attention and was overly fatigued and struck a cement truck.

Making matters worse, 2 brothers were in the cement truck at the time, Fred and Ronald Anthony. Sadly, both individuals passed away.

New Mexico semitruck accidents are often times unique claims that operate under specific laws. First, New Mexico semitruck accidents often times involved unique pieces of evidence that may not exist in other cases. For example, black boxes and on board computers often provide significant details of the facts leading up to a collision. In addition, as would be important in this case, driver logs and records and document how long a semi truck driver has been driving and whether such conduct exceeds federal standards.

In addition, by their very nature, these accidents generally occur when a negligent driver is operating a vehicle while on the clock. In these situations it may allow the accident victims to recover compensation not just from any applicable insurance policy, but also from the significant assets held by the company that employs the negligent driver.