• June 20, 2022

Haroldene Rodriguez Killed, Leopoldo Rodriguez, Children Injured in Truck Accident in Deuel County, NE

Deuel County, NE -- June 18, 2022, Haroldene Rodriguez was killed and Leopoldo Rodriguez and children were hurt due to a truck accident.

Investigators reported that the crash took place at around 12:15 a.m. along I-80 near mile marker 83.

According to officials, 55-year-old Haroldene Rodriguez and 43-year-old Leopoldo Rodriguez were in a vehicle traveling westbound along the interstate. It appears that a tractor-trailer rear-ended the Rodriguezes' vehicle. Their vehicle then overturned.

Due to the collision, Haroldene Rodriguez sustained fatal injuries. Leopoldo and two children in the vehicle were sent to the hospital. The truck driver, identified as 30-year-old Atinder Singh, was arrested for motor vehicle homicide and careless driving.

No further information is available at this time.

Commentary on Haroldene Rodriguez, Leopoldo Rodriguez Truck Accident in Deuel County

A truck somehow rear-ending someone on the interstate is bad enough, but authorities having the confidence to charge the truck driver only makes things more concerning. What exactly led to this awful event? I know folks may think that this is all pretty straight-forward. Authorities charged a trucker for a fatal crash, so the family will get the resolution they deserve, right? Unfortunately, things are rarely ever that simple.

Haroldene Rodriguez Killed, Leopoldo Rodriguez, Children Injured in Truck Accident in Deuel County, NE

A while back, for example, I handled a situation where a truck driver fell asleep at the wheel and crashed. Investigations showed he'd been behind the wheel for over 20 hours straight. That is unquestionably reckless, but did we stop our investigations there? Not at all. We wanted to be sure the family was getting the full story. It turned out there were even more serious issues the authorities missed.

The reason the truck driver did something so reckless was because they were trying to meet a ludicrous deadline set by their employer. It was so unreasonable that no driver could possibly meet it without cutting corners. That company essentially coerced drivers to meet those unreasonable expectations under the threat of losing their jobs. With all of those drivers forced to choose between following the rules and putting food on their family's table, how long would it be until someone got hurt?

With a situation like that, would charging some trucker and getting a quick, hasty resolution really be enough? Or, would there need to be steps to ensure that reckless company was held accountable so they cleaned up their act before more people got hurt? In my experience, a reasonable jury that sees clear evidence knows the right decision. That's why thorough investigations are so important even when the facts already seem clear. After all, a family deserves all the help they can get, but they also deserve to know those responsible for their hardships are held accountable. I see no reason why this tragedy would be an exception.

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