German Barbosa Martinez Killed in Car Accident in Reeves County, TX
Reeves County, TX — September 28, 2023, German Barbosa Martinez was killed following a single-vehicle accident at 1:11 a.m. on County Road 415.
Authorities said in their statements that the incident happened off the corner of the County Road 415 and County Road 408 intersection.
According to officials, 38-year-old German Barbosa Martinez was in a Chevy Tahoe going southwest along County Road 415. For reasons unconfirmed right now, the vehicle went off the right side of the roadway, then crossed through the intersection and hit a power pole grounding wire. The vehicle then went off the opposite side of the road and overturned.
Barbosa Martinez reportedly died as a result of the accident. There did not appear to be any other people involved in the crash. Right now, the cause of the crash can't be confirmed. However, it stands out to me authorities mentioned that the victim's seatbelt wasn't locked. This could mean that the seatbelt wasn't being used, but it could also mean the seatbelt had some kind of mechanical failure.
For example, I handled a wrongful death case a while back in which a crash caused the driver to be ejected from their vehicle. Authorities ultimately determined this was because the victim wasn't wearing their seatbelt, but it turned out they jumped to conclusions and assumed there was no other way the driver could have been thrown from the vehicle. But when we had an engineer look at the seatbelt, it turned out the seatbelt pretensioner failed due to a defect, causing it to loosen and allow the victim to be thrown from the vehicle.
That may or may not be what happened here, but I don't see enough information yet to inspire confidence that authorities are considering every possibility.