• March 13, 2023

Adolfo Valdez, Claudia Espinoza, Lamar Bryant, Desi Draughn Killed in Semi-Truck Accident in Benson, AZ

UPDATE (March 15, 2023): Recent reports identified the victims killed in the accident. Two people in a pickup hit by the semi were 30-year-old Adolfo Valdez and 50-year-old Claudia Espinoza, both from California. Two others were in a semi-truck hit by the one that crossed into oncoming lanes. They were identified as 36-year-old Lamar Bryant and 47-year-old Desi Draughn. No one else has been identified, and the cause of the crash is still under investigation.

Benson, AZ -- March 10, 2023, four people were killed following an accident where a tractor-trailer crashed into oncoming traffic on I-10.

Preliminary details about the crash say it happened just after 8:00 p.m. near mile marker 306. Authorities said that a tractor-trailer was going westbound along the interstate when it somehow lost control. This led to the truck going across the median and into eastbound lanes where it crashed with multiple other vehicles.

Adolfo Valdez, Claudia Espinoza, Lamar Bryant, Desi Draughn Killed in Semi-Truck Accident in Benson, AZ

It appears four people in those vehicles died as a result of the collision. Their identities are not available at this time. Additional injuries are unclear. Authorities continue to investigate the cause of the crash.

It goes without saying that something has to go very wrong for a semi-trailer to careen into oncoming traffic like this. The most common situations are that there was a tire blowout, the driver was on their phone, or the driver fell asleep. But there is every conceivable reason to make sure there is clear evidence to show what happened. It's not enough for families to know what went wrong. They deserve to know why something went wrong.

I'll give a perfect example of why that's so important. A while back, a family came to us about a crash where a truck driver had been behind the wheel for over 20 hours straight. It was obvious he screwed up, but we always make sure to get the full picture, and that's when something more concerning came to light.

It turned out the driver worked for a company that would routinely coerce drivers to meet ridiculous deadlines. If they weren't cutting corners, speeding, being reckless, and skipping maintenance to make these deadlines, they were essentially threatened with their jobs. It was just a matter of time before someone got hurt, and that's exactly what happened.

In a situation like that, imagine what would happen if everyone just put all of the blame on one driver. They made a mistake, of course, but they were little more than a symptom of a much larger issue. By bringing the whole problem to light, it allows steps to be taken to ensure there are appropriate consequences. That way, other families wouldn't have to face similar hardships due such negligent behavior.

So while I certainly can't say what happened here, I can say that I've seen many families involved in similar situations. Getting them clear answers is the least they deserve, and I can't help feeling concerned about how little information is public right now. I can only hope whoever is looking into this behind the scenes is being as thorough as possible in getting to the bottom of this horrifying incident.

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