Godines Family, Halie Everts Dead in Truck Accident on I-25 in Weld County, CO
UPDATE (June 20, 2022): Reports have identified the people killed in this multi-vehicle accident as the Godines family: Emiliano, 51; Christina, 47; Aaron, 20; and a 3-month-old in their vehicle. Halie Everts, 20, was also killed in the crash..
Weld County, CO -- June 13, 2022, five people died in a four-vehicle crash involving a semi-truck along Interstate 25 in Weld County.
According to reports the incident happened around 1:30 p.m. on northbound I-25 near mile marker 253, east of Longmont. Preliminary investigation suggests a Ford Edge, a Ford Focus, and a Mitsubishi vehicle were slowed for traffic in the left lane when a Kenworth semi-truck approached from behind and crashed into the back of the Edge. The impact pushed it into the median; the Kenworth then hit the Focus and pushed it into the Mitsubishi. The truck may have hit the Edge a second time before running into the cable barrier and coming to rest.
Five people in the Edge including a 3-month-old infant were fatally injured in the crash. One person in the Ford Focus received minor injuries. No other injuries were reported.
No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Truck Accident on I-25 in Weld County
A big rig tends to hit slowed or stopped traffic for one or more of just a handful of reasons like speeding, following too closely, or driver distraction. None of those have to be involved in the Colorado crash, but in most of these situations it's ultimately found the accident was avoidable and the truck driver made a serious mistake.
Of course, even if reports say the trucker was at fault that's not necessarily set in stone. In fact, trucking companies are pretty notorious for heavily disputing that their drivers did anything wrong. I suspect the company behind the I-25 driver would reach for any explanation they thought might take them off the hot seat, no matter what he might have been up to just before crashing into the victims. We've worked on many similar cases where truck drivers plowed into stopped vehicles while messing with their radios, reaching for something on the floor or between seats, digging in coolers, or even watching movies on their phones instead of looking at the road--to say nothing of the ones that were too intoxicated to operate their trucks.
Victims often think they have those drivers dead-to-rights when it's time to seek help, but even when their sins seemed clear on paper their employers insisted something else was to blame: Sudden and surprising mechanical or brake failures, sun glare, the victims stopped too suddenly for the driver to react...the excuses go on and on in an effort to lessen or avoid liability, and without clear evidence and the right tools to deal with them they can be frustratingly effective.
The burden of disproving those defenses falls to the victims and their families, and much of the evidence needed to do that is found with either the truck driver or the truck itself. However, the driver and his employer won't simply hand any of that over, so plaintiffs often work with independent investigators and other allies to obtain crucial evidence the company won't share of its own free will. Backing up a claim with indisputable proof is key for getting victims and families the answers and help they need and deserve.