Oswaldo Rojas Killed in 18-Wheeler Hit-and-Run on 7th Ave in Miami, FL
Miami, FL — November 22, 2022, 60-year-old Oswaldo Rojas was fatally injured when an 18-wheeler hit his wheelchair on 7th Avenue in Miami.
Authorities say the incident happened around 2:00 p.m. at Northwest 7th Avenue and 103rd Street. Preliminary investigation suggests Rojas was on one corner of the intersection in his wheelchair when a tractor-trailer ran through the area and hit him, then left the scene.
Rojas was critically injured in the collision and later died at an area hospital.
Investigators recently reported finding the suspected hit-and-run driver but have not released their identity or the name of their employer.
No further information is available at this time.
Commentary on Oswaldo Rojas Hit-and-Run in Miami
It's highly troubling to learn that a professional truck driver not only seriously harmed a pedestrian but then took off without helping him or calling anyone. I'm glad to learn that authorities have apparently identified that driver; once that person is in custody I hope some light can be shed on what could possibly have compelled them to leave a man dying in the road.
In some cases a hit-and-run driver simply panics and takes off due to a stress-triggered "fight or flight" response. However, those people usually contact police once they cool down a little and there's no indication that the truck driver in Miami did so. That leads me to wonder if he had other reasons to flee, such as illegal contraband in his truck or possibly even driving while intoxicated.
Even if he did have more sinister motives for leaving the scene, though, neither he nor his employer are likely to admit it or take responsibility for the damage done. Decades of working on truck accidents have taught me that no matter the preliminary details, an at-fault truck driver's company will bitterly dispute their liability for any crash. The victim's loved ones are likely to hear excuses about poor visibility, sudden and mysterious brake failures, sun glare, or even that the victim failed to yield to the truck. It would fall to them to show that none of those scapegoats were the true cause of the damage done, which usually takes clear and indisputable evidence.
The point is that nobody should consider this resolved even though the runaway driver may not be running for much longer. If they simply fled to try and avoid facing the music for their carelessness then criminal charges certainly seem appropriate. However, those charges won't help the victim's loved ones as they struggle with their loss--nor does it do anything about a company willing to have a driver like that on their payroll. It seems only just that the company step up and do what's right, but it's important not to assume that will happen automatically.