A fiery 18-wheeler crash east of Grants recently closed Interstate 40 in both directions and sent one man to the hospital. Emergency crews responding to the one-vehicle accident near the Sky City Casino reportedly found the overturned semi completely engulfed in flames in the median of the interstate. The big rig was carrying more than 8,000 gallons of gasoline at the time of the accident. According to New Mexico State Police Public Information Officer Robert McDonald, the driver of the tractor-trailer, 33-year-old Dennis Pritchard of Rio Rancho, was taken by ambulance to the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque with injuries that were not considered to be life threatening.
Following the crash, Interstate 40 was closed for several hours. Additionally, both sides of the freeway were damaged by flames and the speed limit on a stretch of the interstate was decreased until the roadway could be repaired. Although the cause of the incident is still under investigation, McDonald stated police officers believe Pritchard may have fallen asleep while driving. He also added that police do not believe alcohol played a role in the accident.
Luckily, no one was severely injured in this crash. Still, big rig collisions often leave victims with serious and life-altering injuries. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, nearly one-fourth of all passenger vehicle fatalities resulting from multi-vehicle crashes nationwide involve a large truck. Because semis are subject to both state and federal laws, 18-wheeler accidents can be complicated. Additionally, big rig collisions often involve unique pieces of evidence such as black boxes, on-board computers, driver logs, and other records.
Tractor trailer accidents may be caused by any number of factors including driver fatigue, inattention, and carelessness. Those who are hurt in a New Mexico truck accident may be eligible to file a claim for lost wages and benefits, medical expenses, any disability that resulted from the incident, and pain and suffering. The relatives of someone who was killed in an accident with an 18-wheeler may also be entitled to recover funeral expenses and receive other damages. An experienced truck accident lawyer can explain your options for recovery.
If you were hurt or lost a loved one in an accident with a tractor trailer, contact the experienced attorneys at the Fine Law Firm. Our Rio Rancho truck accident lawyers have more than 100 years of combined experience representing 18-wheeler accident victims throughout New Mexico. At the Fine Law Firm, our competent attorneys are available to help the victims of collisions with a big rig protect their rights. To discuss your case with a qualified lawyer, please call the Fine Law Firm a call at (505) 889-3463. You may also schedule a free confidential case evaluation through our website.
More Blog Posts:
Preliminary Survey Results Suggest Drinking and Driving Among Santa Fe County Teens Has Declined, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, November 3, 2012
Stretch of Interstate 25 in Albuquerque Sees Dramatic Spike in Vehicle Crashes, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, October 28, 2012
I-40 Crash Causes Major Delays, by Donald Jaramillo, Cibola Beacon