Hilda Rodriguez Injured in 18-wheeler Accident in El Paso, TX
El Paso, TX -- January 12, 2022, Hilda Rodriguez was injured due to an accident where an 18-wheeler crashed into Rodriguez's vehicle.
Investigators reported that the crash took place at around 9:25 a.m. along I-10 near George Dieter Drive.
Officials said that 56-year-old Hilda Rodriguez was westbound along the interstate merging onto main lanes from the flyover. While doing so, police say that an 18-wheeler made an unsafe lane change. The 18-wheeler then hit Rodriguez's vehicle, causing the vehicle to swerve into a Toyota Sequoia.
Rodriguez sustained incapacitating injuries in the crash. The truck driver was cited for changing lanes unsafely. Reports did not give additional details.
Commentary on Hilda Rodriguez 18-wheeler Accident in El Paso
From time to time, I'll see some truckers comment on reports like these, saying that the victim should have been more careful being next to an 18-wheeler. Being in a truck driver's blind spot can certainly be risky, so drivers better watch out, they'll say. You know who doesn't say that? Every experienced, responsible truck driver I've had the pleasure of getting to know.
Professional truckers know more than anyone how dangerous their vehicles are, which is why they have such a high standard to live up to in our legal system. There can certainly be reckless drivers who make things difficult for even the most careful truck drivers, but generally speaking, when a truck driver makes a mistake like the one described in these reports, it's because they failed to live up to their training. However, it's important to be thorough with investigations just in case such a mistake was actually the sign of a bigger problem rather than a momentary lapse in judgment.
Here's why I say that. I had this case a while back where a truck driver made a boneheaded mistake that caused a serious crash. It was such an avoidable mistake that I wanted to see what the driver's history looked like. Well, it didn't look like much. That driver had almost no experience with commercial vehicles, and his employer completely fell flat when it came to training him. We found records that showed they basically rushed the driver through hours of vital training in about 30 minutes. They basically showed him where all the buttons and levers were, tossed him the keys, and said, "Good luck."
When a company cares more about getting trucks on the road than they do the safety of the general public or even their own employees, that's a lot more serious than, for example, some reckless driver who bent down to pick something up off the floorboards. Issues like that can continue to put lives in danger until someone takes action that gets them to clean up their acts.
That's why it's so important in these situations to make sure investigations are thorough and conducted by experienced professionals. Obviously, getting folks the help they need is a priority. But the hundreds of people I've helped over the years all wanted the same thing: accountability. Making sure the right people are held fully accountable for their actions is a crucial step forward both for the victims and families and for everyone else out there on the road that would otherwise be in danger.