• December 09, 2022

Manuel Ortega Killed in Truck Accident on US-80 in Yoakum County, TX

Yoakum County, TX — December 7, 2022, 40-year-old Manuel Ortega died in a single-vehicle commercial truck accident on U.S. Highway 80 in Yoakum County.

Authorities say the incident happened around 6:40 a.m. along US-80 near Plains, close to the Texas/New Mexico border. Preliminary investigation suggests Ortega was driving an International truck west on the highway when he lost control, possibly due to rain and wet road conditions. The truck passed through the eastbound lanes, crashed into the south bar ditch, and overturned.

Ortega suffered fatal injuries in the crash. His passenger, 37-year-old Jose Antonio Perez Ramirez, was treated at and released from a local hospital.

No further information is available at this time.

Commentary on Manuel Ortega Accident in Yoakum County

When reading news reports about this accident it stands out to me that rainy conditions were thought to have played a part. Bad weather and hazardous roads have contributed to many such crashes, and I have no reason to doubt investigators' word about them here. However, I can't help but wonder if there's more to the story than that. Was the driver fully and adequately trained and experienced in handling poor weather and road conditions? Furthermore, was the truck in proper condition to safely get through all that? When was its last maintenance?

Questions like those are why independent investigations are so important after serious truck wrecks like this. Some may be tempted to throw Mother Nature under the bus and move on, but I've seen way too many wrecks where a closer look showed extenuating circumstances that urgently needed attention--from police, or if they too shrugged and put "rain" in their reports then by independent professionals working on behalf of the victim's loved ones. Getting justice requires first finding and proving the truth of what happened.

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