Arizona — Police said that they have arrested a semi-truck driver for allegedly being under the influence of drugs and fleeing the scene of a fatal accident. Jose Macias, 29, and a woman were killed early Friday morning (January 10) after their SUV was hit by a semi-truck on I-10.
The accident appeared to have happened early in the morning, about 4:00 a.m., near the California state line. Macias was a passenger in a Ford Expedition that carried 6 others, headed west along I-10.
Near the California state line, police said, a semi-truck driven by 55-year old David Yates rear-ended the Ford Expedition and forced it off the interstate, causing it to overturn.
Both Macias and a woman in the SUV were ejected and died at the scene. The others in the SUV, a 4-year old, an 8-year old, a 33-year old woman, and a 74-year old man, were all injured and taken to a hospital.
Police said that Yates, the truck driver, fled the scene after the wreck. They later caught him roughly 1/2 mile from the site and arrested him on suspicion of being on drugs. Yates also faces other criminal charges related to the accident, but the investigation is still ongoing.
Approximate Site of the Accident
A lot of people would look at this accident, I think, and assume that it’s pretty obvious this truck driver will be held responsible. However, trucking accidents aren’t that black-and-white. The news reports are saying this driver was on drugs and if that’s true, then this will actually reflect back on the trucking company as well as their driver. But, one of the things that makes trucking accidents unique is that the trucking company will always defend their driver – even if he’s obviously at fault. Why? Simply put, the trucking company has a lot to lose here. If their driver was really on drugs, that means they allowed someone irresponsible behind the wheel of their truck. In legal terms, this can be construed as gross negligence or even criminal negligence. Most people don’t realize that the victim always has the burden of proof in these situations and that the trucking company, in an effort to avoid accepting fault, will use all their resources to bail their driver out of trouble. The best thing to do, I’ve found, is to start an early investigation and figure out what really happened. The police report in an accident is usually very helpful, but they can also be wrong, so it’s a good idea to supplement it with another investigation.
— Grossman Law Offices