Five people were tragically killed in three separate New Mexico rollover car accidents that occurred over the recent Labor Day weekend. According to New Mexico State Police spokesperson Emmanuel T. Gutierrez, all of the victims died because they failed to buckle up.
In one of the crashes, a 42-year-old man, his pregnant daughter, and three-year-old grandson died. Authorities believe the man fell asleep at the wheel while he was driving a pick-up truck carrying eight passenger on U.S. Highway 60 near Socorro. Gutierrez said the truck crossed into oncoming traffic before it left the roadway and rolled. He also stated a number of the truck’s passengers were riding in the bed of the pick-up. Survivors were apparently transported by both ambulance and medical helicopter to Albuquerque-area hospitals.
Sadly, two other individuals were also killed in other holiday weekend rollover wrecks. An 18-year-old driver died when the pick-up she was driving struck the median and rolled on Interstate 25 near Las Cruces. The driver was apparently ejected from the vehicle and died at the scene of the crash. Gutierrez said there was no indication the 18-year-old was wearing a safety belt when the fatal accident happened.
A separate rollover accident on U.S. Highway 285 near Roswell also left a five-year-old dead and two others hurt. Gutierrez stated no one riding in the vehicle was wearing a safety belt at the time of the incident. Although the exact cause of the fatal collision is currently under investigation, New Mexico State Police reportedly believe the driver was under the influence of alcohol.
Regrettably, fatal single-vehicle crashes like those that occurred over the long holiday weekend take place on the many interstates and other roadways throughout New Mexico each year. In 2011, about 350 drivers and passengers died in a New Mexico auto accident. Almost 70 percent of those deaths resulted from a one-car wreck.
According to data collected by the United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 81 percent of motorists across the country buckled up in 2006. In the State of New Mexico, nearly 90 percent of drivers wore a safety belt during the same year. Still, around half of all motorists and passengers who died in a New Mexico traffic wreck during the same time period neglected to wear a seat belt.
Everyone who travels by car in our state is required to buckle up. Despite this law, New Mexico is a comparative fault accident state. This means a person who was hurt or certain relatives of someone who died in a motor vehicle collision may be eligible to recover damages even if they chose not to use a seat belt. Because of this, you should discuss your rights with an injury attorney after any injury accident.
Please contact the Fine Law Firm if you were injured or a family member was killed in a one-vehicle or other traffic accident in New Mexico. Our caring Albuquerque personal injury lawyers have more than 100 years of combined experience helping the victims of devastating injuries receive the damages they deserve. To schedule a free, confidential case evaluation with an experienced and committed advocate, please give the attorneys at the Fine Law Firm a call at (505) 889-3463 or contact us through our website.
More Blog Posts:
Bicycle Rider Killed in Accident with Pick-Up on New Mexico State Road 136 in Santa Teresa, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, August 28, 2013
Judge Orders Third Trial in Santa Fe Medical Negligence Case, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, August 26, 2013
5 killed in separate crashes, by Elaine Tassy, Albuquerque Journal
Photo credit: Alvimann, morgueFile