Carmen Rodriguez, Teen Killed; Child Injured in Littlefield, TX Truck Accident
Littlefield, TX — July 20, 2022, 30-year-old Carmen Rodriguez and a teen girl were killed in a crash with a semi-truck at a highway intersection in Littlefield.
According to reports the incident happened Wednesday morning at East Loop 430 and U.S. Highway 84. Preliminary investigation suggests Rodriguez was driving a Jeep Liberty south when she stopped at the intersection's stop sign. Reports indicate she pulled forward and failed to yield to an approaching Peterbilt Bobtail truck. The truck hit the Jeep on its driver's side in the crossroads.
Rodriguez and a 13-year-old girl in the car suffered fatal injuries. A 4-year-old boy in a car seat in the back was seriously injured; a 2-month old girl in another car seat was unhurt. The truck driver reportedly refused assistance at the scene.
No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Carmen Rodriguez Accident in Littlefield
Preliminary reports say the victim failed to yield at that intersection, but I've done this long enough to take early assessments with a grain or two of salt until someone looks closer. What if other factors beyond a simple failure to yield--things harder to detect during a standard once-over at the scene--were involved?
Here's an example: I worked on a case recently where police said a driver turned in front of an 18-wheeler seemingly without cause. Her family, understandably frustrated at that "who knows" approach, asked us to look again.
Our experts found important details police didn't account for: There was a dense fog in the area at the time, the truck was traveling much too fast for conditions, and the truck's headlights may have been malfunctioning. Put together those were a recipe for severely reduced visibility and a serious accident, and yet somehow none of them were mentioned before we had another look.
I'm not saying bad weather or a dicey truck are responsible for the crash in Littlefield, and I'm certainly not implying that the truck driver was at fault. I read the same reports as anyone else and they didn't say anything of the sort. My point is more that it's important to consider all the potential factors instead of just reaching a simplistic conclusion and closing the book. Could further investigation still show this wreck boils down to an unfortunate and momentary mistake? Maybe, but it could also find other details that change how the whole thing is perceived.
Police may not be inclined to take a second look if they found an explanation they liked. That means if there are any questions about the "official" findings (which happens quite often), then the victims' family would likely be better served by independent investigators to find the whole truth of the matter.