Inez Arnoldo Sanchez Dies in San Antonio, TX, 18-wheeler Accident
San Antonio, TX -- January 7, 2017, Inez Arnoldo Sanchez was killed in San Antonio, TX, due to an accident in which his pickup crashed into the side of an 18-wheeler.
San Antonio Police responded to the fatal accident scene at about 10:00 p.m. near the intersection of Kirk Place and 21st Street.
According to investigators, an 18-wheeler was backing up into a business just off Kirk Place when it suddenly stalled in the roadway, blocking traffic lanes. Before the truck could be removed from the road, a red pickup crashed into the side of the trailer.
The pickup went underneath the trailer, and the driver, 49-year-old Sanchez, sustained fatal injuries. EMS arrived on the scene shortly after the accident, and they pronounced Sanchez dead at the scene.
At this time, authorities have not said whether or not citations or charges were being considered. The crash remains under investigation.
Map of the Area
The details laid out in the early reports of this crash seem to indicate that the 18-wheeler was going to a nearby business in order to drop off or pick up a shipment. The problem with this is that in doing so, the truck blocked traffic lanes. I understand that the truck apparently stalled as it was trying to back out of traffic lanes, but attempting the maneuver in the first place creates a hazard for other drivers. Blocking traffic lanes with a truck is, simply put, illegal, no matter how clear the driver thought the road was at the time.
We had a case just like this not long ago out of Indiana. An 18-wheeler driver was attempting a 3-point turn on a narrow highway by pulling into a small driveway. As the truck was blocking traffic lanes, a Nissan pickup slammed into the side of the trailer and went underneath. As a result, one guy in the pickup died at the scene, and another suffered critical injuries, including severe head trauma.
This was a serious accident, and the trucking company knew they had a lot to lose. So what did they do? They frantically started pointing the finger elsewhere to avoid liability. They did this by alleging that:
- The pickup was speeding.
- The street was well-lit.
- The 18-wheeler's lights were working.
- The pickup had no headlights.
All of these details were put forth by the trucking company to try and push blame onto the victim. Fortunately for the victims and their families, the trucking company's accusations didn't hold up under further investigation.
To counter the first point, we checked the engine control module, which indicated that the driver wasn't speeding at the time of the accident. In fact, they were going the speed limit. To the second point, while there was indeed a streetlight at the spot of the accident, it turned out that the light was set to an automatic schedule and was not on when the accident occurred.
Although the police report backed up the trucking company on the third point, when the 18-wheeler was inspected, the lights were working on one side, but not the side the pickup hit.
The last claim, that the pick-up truck had no headlights, was more outlandish and it took some digging to prove it wrong. We went to the salvage yard to personally inspect the pick-up truck wreckage and, lo and behold, it didn't have headlights at all. Finding that a touch suspicious, we looked at the visitor logs to the salvage yard. A few days before we arrived, a representative from the insurance company had also been at the yard. This raised our suspicions, so we checked the surveillance tapes at the yard and it turns out that an insurance adjuster for the trucking company came to look at the truck. The tape showed this person stealing the headlights off of the pickup. They then concocted the details around this to help tip the scales in their favor.
This story might seem farfetched for those who aren't experienced in dealing with truck accidents, but this sort of thing happens more often than you might think. Not every trucking company you encounter is going to act like this--in fact, many that our firm has dealt with have been quite professional. However, there are many trucking companies and insurers out there who will use dirty tricks and do whatever it takes in order to avoid liability for an accident. The central issue here is that when there's a truck accident with serious injuries and/or death, trucking companies have a lot to lose. Simply put, they have a lot of money to lose.
Looking back at the Indiana truck accident, one person was killed and another had critical and potentially permanent injuries that would require years of ongoing treatment. That means the trucking company was looking at compensating the family of the deceased victim as well as extensive medical bills and lost of wages for the injured victim. As grim as it may be, trucking companies do not want to give up that much money, no matter how badly affected the victims are. As a result, they do whatever they can--often resorting to underhanded tactics--to avoid liability for an accident.
This can create significant barriers between those affected by truck accidents and the compensation they rightly deserve. With experienced professionals investigating an accident, however, these barriers can be overcome. Trucking companies can deny certain aspects of a crash and make up their own events as much as they want. But when a trial jury looks at tangible, irrefutable evidence, those manufactured stories begin to fall apart. It might be difficult dealing with trucking companies following an accident, but it's not impossible. With the right knowledge and preparation, victims and their families can cut through the barriers put in their way, hold negligent truck drivers accountable for their actions, and get the justice they deserve.
--Grossman Law Offices