• January 28, 2022

Pablo Rodriguez Killed in Truck Accident on NM-206 near Roosevelt County

Roosevelt County, NM -- January 26, 2022, 39-year-old Pablo Rodriguez was killed in a collision with a tractor-trailer on State Road 206 near Roosevelt County.

Authorities say the incident happened before 9:40 a.m. along NM-206. Preliminary investigation suggests a 37-year-old Amarillo man was driving a commercial truck north on the roadway in inclement weather when he lost control for unknown reasons. The truck jackknifed and crossed over the center line, entering southbound traffic and colliding with Rodriguez's Ford F-150 pickup truck.

Rodriguez suffered fatal injuries in the crash and was pronounced dead at the scene. The truck driver was transported to a hospital with unspecified injuries.

The investigation continues but road and weather conditions are suspected factors. Rodriguez was reportedly wearing a seat belt and impairment is not suspected.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Pablo Rodriguez Accident on NM-206 near Roosevelt County

Authorities mention weather as a factor here, and it's always important not to simply write that off. Weather can be a common target for insurance companies looking to minimize their responsibility, saying that the weather made the vehicle lose control and not the driver.

I'm not saying it's impossible for bad weather to have an impact on traffic, and in fact the law accommodates the argument suggested above in the Act of God defense. The core of that argument is that someone shouldn't be held liable for an accident they were in if it was really caused by natural events beyond their control.

So is every truck driver excused from any crash in a drizzle? Hardly. Act of God is an argument specifically meant for sudden and disastrous natural events, like tsunamis or tornadoes touching down out of a blue sky. The natural event must be unforeseeable and devastating in scale, which is why essentially no attempt to invoke Act of God as a defense has succeeded. Nevertheless, it costs nothing for an insurer to toss it in the pot in case a jury happens to be swayed.

Pablo Rodriguez Killed in Truck Accident on NM-206 near Roosevelt County

Here's the big thing about weather: It doesn't cause crashes by itself--what people do in it is the problem. Look closely enough at most wrecks in rain or snow or sleet or dead of night and you'll likely find a driver who didn't do anything different than they would have at noon on a balmy summer day. Every driver has a responsibility to adjust their behavior for weather and road conditions, and commercial truck drivers are far from the exception to that. In fact, federal law generally holds them to a higher standard of care when it comes to navigating hazards.

With all that in mind will investigators find out exactly why the truck driver lost control and jackknifed, or do they plan to simply blame the weather as he and his employers will, leaving the victim's loved ones with few options to seek help?

[jump]

*We appreciate your feedback and welcome anyone to comment on our blog entries, however all visitor blog comments must be approved by the site moderator prior to showing live on the site. By submitting a blog comment you acknowledge that your post may appear live on the site for any visitors to see, pending moderator approval. The operators of this site are not responsible for the accuracy or content of the comments made by site visitors. By submitting a comment, blog post, or email to this site you acknowledge that you may receive a response with regard to your questions or concerns. If you contact Grossman Law Offices using this online form, your message will not create an attorney-client relationship and will not necessarily be treated as privileged or confidential! You should not send sensitive or confidential information via the Internet. Since the Internet is not necessarily a secure environment, it is not possible to ensure that your message sent via the Internet might be kept secure and confidential. When you fill out a contact or comment form, send us an email directly, initiate a chat session or call us, you acknowledge we may use your contact information to communicate with you in the future for marketing purposes, but such marketing will always be done in an ethical way.