Rosendo Rodriguez Killed, 3 Injured in 3-Vehicle Crash on US-385 near Hereford, TX
Hereford, TX — November 3, 2022, Rosendo Rodriguez died and three people were injured in a 3-vehicle wreck on U.S. Highway 385 near Hereford.
Authorities say the incident happened around 7:00 a.m. on US-385 at Walnut Road, south of town. Preliminary investigation suggests a Chevy Malibu slowed to turn in the area and was rear-ended by an SUV. The impact pushed the Malibu into the oncoming lane where it crashed head-on with a tractor-trailer. The big rig then ran off the road and hit multiple fixed objects, causing it to break into several pieces.
Rodriguez (52), the truck driver, was fatally injured in the crash.The Malibu's three occupants--Lina Vallejo (36), Lazardo Vallejo (34), and a 6-year-old girl--were taken to a Hereford hospital. The SUV driver was unhurt.
The crash is still under investigation. No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Rosendo Rodriguez Accident near Hereford
Preliminary reports suggest this wreck was triggered by the SUV hitting the turning car. However, the cause of a crash and the cause of the victims' injuries aren't always the same, so it's important to investigate this matter carefully and thoroughly.
For instance, a big detail here that troubles me is how the 18-wheeler reportedly broke to pieces during the secondary crashes with fixed objects on the roadside. I don't doubt that happened, but I wonder if the truck's construction had anything to do with the severity of the damage done. Big rigs seem safe due to their sheer size, but they're mostly just fiberglass shells seated on big metal frames. Their bulk is usually enough to protect them from lesser crashes, but if they hit some things at speed they may disintegrate as we see in the crash above.
I'm not suggesting big rigs be constructed like tanks, but there have been advances in truck safety that many manufacturers fail to incorporate. Unfortunately that means some serious-but-survivable crashes turn fatal. In those instances, the truck's makers may share some of the responsibility for the damage done since they didn't take all available steps to protect the end-users.
I'm not saying that's a factor in the Hereford crash without clear evidence, but I think it's important to investigate that possibility carefully and thoroughly. At the very least everyone affected by the wreck deserves to know the whole story, including the less-obvious details police sometimes overlook.