Suspected Drunk Trucker Charged after Feliberto Sepeda Killed in Semi-Truck Accident
This was north of Dimmitt on U.S. Highway 385.
According to the reports released by the DPS, Feliberto Sepeda and his wife, 78-year old Eva Sepeda, were headed south along U.S. 385 this past Tuesday afternoon in their Chevy pickup truck, around 1:30 p.m. Meanwhile, Everett West was driving a white semi-truck north.
About 1 mile north of Dimmitt, it appears that West lost control of his semi and swerved into oncoming traffic, where he crashed head-on into the Sepeda's southbound Chevy truck.
The accident killed Feliberto Sepeda immediately and sent Eva Sepeda to a hospital. At the last update, she was in critical condition.
Mr. West, however, was arrested after he was treated for his injuries. The DPS troopers at the scene said that he was suspected of being under the influence while driving his semi.
He now faces charges of intoxication assault and intoxication manslaughter.
Map of the Area
I've been reading about this story online and it seems like people are really outraged at the (alleged) actions of this truck driver. If what the news is saying proves true, I have to say that I'm in the same camp. How irresponsible do you have to be to drive a giant semi-truck while under the influence?
Now, I wish I could say that's shocking to me, but it's not the first time I've heard of truckers on the road while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In fact, it's a lot more common than you'd think. I know people are pretty upset with this trucker - and they have every right to be! - but let's also consider that he may have been working for a bigger company at the time.
What do they have to say about this? Did they know their trucker was under the influence? Did he have a history of this kind of behavior? What about being licensed to drive at all?
After doing a little bit of research on this trucker, I can answer at least one of those questions. As it turns out, this driver (or someone with the exact same name and age who's also from Happy, TX) has a few things on his criminal record -- one of which is a drug-related charge that looks like it came with a little jail time. Now, I don't know about you, but that's exactly who should not be driving a truck in the first place.
Folks, I don't believe in using a person's reputation to slander him, but this is completely unacceptable. What would we do if we found out that a high school teacher had actually failed out of college and was teaching the wrong material? What about a lawyer who never passed the bar, but still passed himself off in court?
The bottom line is that whoever this trucker was working for had a duty to protect others from danger on the road. Not only does this trucker need to be held accountable for his decisions, but so does his employer.
I have to say that accidents like this can sometimes be really reflective of the trucking industry's worst parts. There are good companies out there that strive for safety, excellence, and operate with integrity. Then there are trucking companies that just want to get the job done ASAP and don't care how many rules they break or how many lives they put in danger in the process. I'm afraid we may be looking at the latter here.
-- Grossman Law Offices