• December 02, 2021

David Valles, Eliza De La Cruz, Tony De La Cruz Killed in El Paso, TX 18-Wheeler Accident

UPDATE (December 2, 2021): The victims of this accident have been identified as 69-year-old David Valles, 67-year-old Elia De La Cruz, and 93-year-old Tony De La Cruz.

Further investigation into the circumstances of the crash suggests an eastbound International semi-truck made a left turn from the North Loop onto Lee Trevino Drive. As the truck turned, a Subaru Outback SUV driven by Valles reportedly sped southward through the intersection's red light and crashed into the side of the truck's trailer.

Valles and Elia and Tony De La Cruz, all in the Subaru, died at the scene. The truck driver, identified as 59-year-old Daniel Barrio Barray, was taken to an area hospital with possible non-life-threatening injuries.

El Paso, TX -- December 1, 2021, three people were killed in a collision between a passenger vehicle and a tractor-trailer in the Lower Valley region of El Paso.

Authorities say the incident happened around 1:30 p.m. at the intersection of the North Loop and Lee Trevino drives. The circumstances of the incident are not yet known, but reports indicate a car and a commercial 18-wheeler collided in the area, resulting in three fatalities.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on 18-Wheeler Accident at Lee Trevino and North Loop in El Paso

I'm not suggesting police should already have all the dots connected for so recent an incident, but that does mean reports about the crash are frustratingly vague so far. In the absence of more details, I have a feeling some folks will try to fill in the blanks for themselves. As always, I must caution against doing that until investigators can learn more. Just to gain a better comprehension of events they'll have to look into many factors--possible driver mistakes like distraction and speeding, yes, but also problems or defects in the vehicles themselves, ambient conditions like weather and roadway conditions, whether the intersection's lights were working, visibility and sightlines, other traffic in the area, and many other elements that could have influenced the wreck.

David Valles, Eliza De La Cruz, Tony De La Cruz Killed in El Paso, TX 18-Wheeler Accident

One reason to be so thorough is that one of the vehicles involved was a commercial truck. I'm not pointing any fingers or saying the truck driver was to blame here, but I know from long experience that even if that turns out to be true the company behind that driver is unlikely to admit responsibility unless abundant clear evidence says they're to blame. Without objective facts telling the story there's a lot of room for "creative" interpretations of events that ultimately deflect attention away from where it belongs. Many victims and families have been quite frustrated when what seemed like a clear-cut case of negligence became bogged down in deflections and excuses in court.

That's why it's so important to be thorough, and why I discourage speculation in the place of clear facts. I've seen far too many cases where people rushed to point fingers after reading vague reports, only for details to come to light that changed their minds. The same could happen here, though it's hard to say whether the eventual police report will really clarify things as much as one might hope. That's why I almost always suggest an independent investigation to make sure all the relevant information is found. Whatever is revealed, those affected deserve to know that every effort was made to uncover the whole truth. Any further steps beyond that would depend largely on investigators' findings.

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