• January 11, 2023

Edwin García Vigil, Miguel Portillo Arias, Mercedes Arturo García, Kevin Turcios Killed in Auto Accident on I-85 in Charlotte, NC

Charlotte, NC — January 10, 2023, Edwin García Vigil, Miguel Portillo Arias, Mercedes Arturo García and Kevin Turcios died in a crash with a dump truck on Interstate 85 in the University City area of Charlotte.

Authorities say the incident happened around 4:45 p.m. on I-85 South at West W.T. Harris Boulevard. Preliminary investigation suggests the victims were traveling in a Ford pickup on the highway when they somehow collided with a dump truck that reports say was improperly parked. After the crash the Ford caught fire.

All four of the pickup's occupants were fatally injured in the accident.

The investigation continues. No further information is currently available.

I would imagine most readers who get wind of this horrific accident are largely focused on the fact that it cost four men their lives. That's entirely understandable, yet I worry that might also overshadow an important detail mentioned in the news: The dump truck may have been illegally parked. It's crucial not to lose sight of that in the midst of everything else.

In no way is that meant to take attention away from the crash's terrible aftermath. I only mean to point out that part of coming to grips with what happened is fully understanding it, and that detail in the news certainly needs more explanation. Saying the truck was "improperly parked" can mean a lot of things, but few--probably none--of them are good. If its position in or by the highway was a key factor in the crash, then that needs investigation and context: How was it "improperly parked," and why?

I read the same reports as anyone else and I'm not claiming to know more than what they say. In fact, that's why I'm calling for more thorough efforts to get all the facts for the people who need and deserve them. Whatever the explanation turns out to be, I hope it makes sense to those men's families and provides them with some measure of peace.

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