Jose Caratachea-Valencia Killed in Truck Accident on Elm Ave in Fresno County, CA
Fresno County, CA -- May 23, 2022, 52-year-old Jose Caratachea-Valencia was killed in a collision with a tractor-trailer on Elm Avenue in Fresno County.
Authorities say the incident happened shortly before 3:00 a.m. at or near the crossing of Elm and North avenues. Preliminary investigation suggests a commercial 18-wheeler was pulling into a nearby driveway when a Mercury vehicle crashed into the side of its trailer. According to investigators the Mercury was traveling around 100 miles per hour at the time of the collision and its driver, Caratachea-Valencia, may have consumed alcohol prior to driving.
The impact caused the car to become wedged beneath the truck's trailer. Caratachea-Valencia suffered fatal injuries.
No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Jose Caratachea-Valencia Accident on Elm Ave in Fresno County
People may read the published details of this accident and conclude that, while tragic, it seems mostly to be the doing of the victim. If police are correct and he was egregiously speeding and possibly intoxicated, most will say the crash was likely because of those issues and little else.
Further investigation might conclude something like that, but it's important not to throw in the towel until everything has been suitably considered. For instance, reports say the big rig involved in the wreck was turning when the car hit it. Quite frankly that simple action should be described in much greater detail, because exactly how it turned could be a major factor in the accident. Did the truck driver turn left from the opposing lane of the road? If so, that could mean they failed to yield to approaching traffic--however fast it may have approached, the thru-traffic moving straight ahead would have had the right-of-way and the driver would have ignored that. Likewise, if the truck driver made a wide right turn that blocked the road that's still obviously a big problem traveling for anyone behind the big rig.
That's just one detail of many that still need to be worked out before anyone points fingers. This happened in the dark of night, so is the area in question well-lit after sundown? Did the truck driver use their signal before beginning the turn? If the victim was impaired as suspected, did police conduct the needed blood tests to find out how much of a role impairment played? Was his vehicle in good working order?
The point of all this isn't to overcomplicate things or find a way to blame someone unfairly. Perhaps things were exactly as police originally thought, but only further careful investigation could anyone know that for sure. Will law enforcement go back over all this with the careful attention it deserves, or are they--much like readers--prepared to write it off as a careless driver reaping what he sowed? If the latter, maybe independent experts should be the ones to take a second look.