• May 18, 2022

Roger Craghead Killed in Truck Accident on US-54 in Quay County, NM

Quay County, NM -- May 15, 2022, 41-year-old truck driver Roger Craghead died in a collision with another 18-wheeler on U.S. Highway 54 in Quay County.

Authorities say the incident happened around 9:30 a.m. on US-54 near Nara Visa, close to the NM/TX state line. Preliminary investigation suggests a Freightliner tractor-trailer was headed east on the highway when the driver crossed over the center line for unknown reasons. After entering the oncoming lane the Freightliner sideswiped a Volvo truck driven by Craghead. The impact sent the Volvo off the road and it overturned.

Craghead was pronounced dead at the scene. The Freightliner driver was treated and released at an area hospital.

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

Commentary on Roger Craghead Accident on US-54 in Quay County

It's not certain why one driver might have crossed over the center line as alleged in reports, but before anyone starts saying it was due to driver recklessness or distraction I wonder if something else--something harder to see in a standard scene investigation--might have been involved. Could the truck have had some kind of mechanical or brake problem? Might something have obstructed the driver's view of the road's dividing line? Was the driver in good health, or could some kind of medical issue have taken his control away? Could the victim reasonably have done anything to avoid the oncoming big rig in his lane?

Roger Craghead Killed in Truck Accident on US-54 in Quay County, NM

I'm sure many are tempted to forego all those extra questions and just blame carelessness on the crossover driver's part, but it's important to address these details and learn the whole true story of any crash--not only for the sake of bringing answers to the victim's loved ones, but also in case there's disagreement later about who or what is responsible for the accident. Early reports may make it seem relatively clear, but looking more closely at the details of the crash might still exonerate the crossover driver if something out of his hands was the proximate cause of the crash. If he had little to no control of the vehicle in that moment, it would be unfair to pin blame on him. It's also a fair certainty that the company behind that driver would try to blame such circumstances even if none occurred, so it's best for everyone to know precisely what happened and why.

Ultimately I'm just saying what I so often do: This crash like any other deserves careful and rigorous investigation to be sure the truth is found. In the meantime my goal is not to unfairly point fingers, but only to ensure that the whole story is learned and the appropriate parties are held responsible. The victim's family deserves no less after their tragic loss.

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