• December 09, 2021

Jeffrey Lopez Killed in Motorcycle Accident on Zaragoza Rd in El Paso, TX

UPDATE (January 10, 2021): Authorities have identified the victim of this collision as 22-year-old Jeffrey Seth Lopez.

El Paso, TX -- December 8, 2021, a motorcyclist was killed in a late-night collision with a passenger vehicle at an east El Paso intersection.

Authorities say the incident happened shortly before 11:30 p.m. at the crossing of North Zaragoza Road and Saul Kleinfeld Drive. Preliminary investigation suggests the victim was riding a Suzuki motorcycle north on Zaragoza and approached the intersection as 19-year-old Vivian Calderon turned her Nissan Sentra left from Saul Kleinfeld onto southbound Zaragoza. As the Nissan passed toward the southbound lanes, the motorcycle crashed into its rear left quarter. The motorcycle laid down and slid across the road into a tree and a utility pole.

The motorcycle rider suffered fatal injuries in the accident. No other injuries were reported.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Jeffrey Lopez Accident on Zaragoza in El Paso

UPDATE (January 10, 2021): Further investigative information about this accident was added to the narrative above and helps clarify at least to some degree what happened in El Paso. However, it doesn't seem sufficient to simply describe what happened without also trying to learn more about why things went that way. Why did the car's driver reportedly fail to yield to the oncoming motorcycle? Did she look around sufficiently before proceeding from the stop sign? Was she paying attention? Was the rider? How fast was the victim traveling on the motorcycle? Did anything obscure either party's view of the other? What's lighting like in that area? What about road conditions?

These questions and others like them aren't meant to overcomplicate the matter, but rather to clarify it. If any circumstances aside from a bad decision were involved, that's crucial information to know when seeking justice for the man who tragically lost his life that night.

Jeffrey Lopez Killed in Motorcycle Accident on Zaragoza Rd in El Paso, TX

ORIGINAL: Reports about this accident are still pretty minimal, and right now there's no telling what specifically led to the crash. As investigators try to piece together what happened, I strongly discourage jumping to any conclusions. I know from long experience that folks are often tempted to fill in the blanks for themselves with guesses about speeding, distraction, and even in some cases intoxication. That urge to speculate seems to be increased when a motorcycle is involved, as people sometimes have biases against their riders and (mistakenly) believe them all to be reckless.

Issues like speeding and distraction are quite common and I have little doubt investigators will look into those possibilities while working out the details of this accident. They may also decide to look at intoxication as a possible factor, whether as a matter of procedure or because they find some form of suggestive evidence at the scene. However, at this point no one can really say how this wreck occurred, let alone who or what's responsible for it. Investigators must consider many variables besides driver errors: Problems or defects in the vehicles themselves, ambient conditions like weather and road conditions, visibility, lighting and sightlines, any inadequate or missing signage, other traffic in the area, and many other elements must be properly evaluated.

So what really happened here? So soon after the accident and with so many variables not yet considered, no one can say for certain. It may even take investigations more thorough than police are ready to commit to find out for sure.

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