• April 21, 2022

Juan Martinez-Garcia, 1 Killed, Teen Injured in 18-wheeler Accident in Maljamar, NM

Maljamar, NM -- April 19, 2022, Juan Martinez-Garcia and another person were killed and a teenager was hurt due to an 18-wheeler accident.

Initial reports given by New Mexico State Police indicated that the crash happened outside of Maljamar at around 11:30 p.m.

Investigators said that 42-year-old Juan Martinez-Garcia was in a van traveling westbound along State Road 529. Somehow, that van reportedly crossed into oncoming lanes and crashed with an eastbound tractor-trailer.

Due to the collision, Martinez-Garcia and the unidentified driver of the van sustained fatal injuries. An 18-year-old passenger in the 18-wheeler reportedly had to be airlifted from the scene due to their injuries. Additional details about the crash are unavailable at this time.

Commentary on Juan Martinez-Garcia 18-wheeler Accident in Maljamar

After such a serious crash, it's not that unusual for there to be so few details available. Put simply, any commercial vehicle wreck is going to present unique challenges. One this devastating isn't likely to be an exception to that. For that reason, it's even more important to make sure experienced professionals are looking into things. It takes years of experience and proper equipment to ensure nothing important slips through the cracks. Efforts from the authorities alone simply may not be enough.

Juan Martinez-Garcia, 18-wheeler Accident Maljamar, NM

I don't mean to disparage the efforts of police, but the reality is their departments don't always have the resources to devote to a deadly traffic accident. That's how one ends up in situations like one I handled a while back involving similar details to these reports. Police in that particular case said a car crossed the center line and hit an 18-wheeler, but further independent accident reconstructions showed the officer completely got things backward. The 18-wheeler actually crossed the center line first, but the vehicles ended up in the 18-wheeler's original lane following the collision. The inexperienced officer left in charge of the crash simply jumped to conclusions without actually looking at the evidence.

Just to be clear, I'm not trying to suggest that happened here. My point is that authorities can make huge mistakes like that, so just imagine what else can go wrong without the right experience and investigative equipment. Perhaps the authorities in charge here are more thorough, but folks shouldn't be forced to wait around for answers until it's too late to get them. Steps can and should be taken as early as possible to make sure folks get the answers they deserve.

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