• April 15, 2022

Rachel Martinez Killed in Crash with 18-Wheeler on US-60 in Castro County, TX

Castro County, TX -- April 14, 2022, 29-year-old Rachel Anne Martinez was killed in a collision with a tractor-trailer on U.S. Highway 60 in Castro County.

Authorities say the incident happened around 6:30 a.m. along US-60 at Farm to Market Road 1057, around eight miles west of Hereford. Preliminary investigation suggests 46-year-old Adelita Medeles was driving a Kenworth 18-wheeler west on the highway when she entered the turning lane as she prepared to turn left onto FM 1057. Some distance behind the truck Martinez was driving a Chevy Malibu west in the inside lane.

As the truck waited in the turn lane for a train to clear the intersection so it could proceed, Martinez reportedly fail to control her speed or maintain a single lane for unknown reasons. The Malibu veered into the turn lane and crashed into the back of the big rig's attached livestock trailer. After the impact it spun away and came to a stop in the westbound lanes of the highway.

Martinez was pronounced dead on the scene. Medeles was transported to a Hereford hospital where she was treated and released.

The crash remains under investigation. No further information is available at this time.

Commentary on Rachel Martinez Accident on US-60 in Castro County

Folks often think that in rear-end crashes the rear driver is to blame by default. That may feel true because reports often say the rear driver did something wrong, but it's not as much of a given as it may seem. For instance, before deciding what's to blame for the collision in Castro County it's important to consider whether any other factors--things possibly overlooked in the preliminary investigation--could be involved. Police may just blame the crash on something common like "failed to reduce speed" and consider the job more or less complete, but what if something else was actually responsible for the victim's fatal injuries?

For instance, how fast was the victim actually traveling as she approached the truck? What about the big rig--was it already stopped as suggested, or was it still slowing down for the turn when the collision occurred? If the latter, did the driver brake gradually or abruptly before moving into the turn lane? Did the semi-trailer's brake lights and turn signals work properly? Was the victim able to see the truck as the car approached? If not, why not? Was she paying attention to her surroundings? Was her vehicle in good working order--tires, brakes, safety features? Were any other vehicles in the same area at the time? Could any other issues like road conditions, bad weather, or medical problems have played a part?

Rachel Martinez Killed in Crash with 18-Wheeler on US-60 in Castro County, TX

I don't mean to overcomplicate this or make any accusations. I only know as much as anyone else about what happened. I'm only saying what I always do: When people are hurt or killed in these accidents it's not right just to blame someone right out of the gate. Instead, it's important to understand exactly how and why the collision happened. To find that out there must be a thorough investigation that properly evaluates all the possibilities--even less-common ones. A closer look might just find or confirm a simple explanation, but only after the job is done right can anyone be sure. At the very least the victim's loved ones deserve to know that every effort was made to uncover the whole truth of the matter.

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