Rafael Lopez Dead, Israel Granada Hurt in Gaines Co, TX, Accident
Gaines County, TX -- January 13, 2017, Rafael Lopez was killed, Israel Granada injured, following an accident where their vehicles collided.
According to reports given by the Texas Department of Public Safety, the accident occurred at the intersection of Highway 83 and County Road 103.
51-year-old Lopez was driving a Kia Optima along northbound CR 103. He came to a stop sign before proceeding through the Highway 83 intersection. As he did so, he crossed paths with an eastbound oil truck. The two vehicles collided in the intersection.
As a result of the collision, Lopez suffered fatal injuries from which he died at the scene. The driver of the truck, 41-year-old Granada, had moderate injuries. EMS transported Granada to Yoakum County Hospital.
Authorities did not release any additional information regarding the accident. Investigations are ongoing.
Map of the Area
Reading these early accident investigations can often be troublesome since they're not exactly the most complete pictures. Oftentimes, early reports are missing crucial details regarding the accident, and there have been plenty of reports that simply get details wrong. I've seen some reports claiming the Lopez ran the stop sign at this intersection, though some reports have been less specific. It's certainly possible that Mr. Lopez violated the truck's right of way, but I've seen plenty of examples where preliminary investigations got this kind of thing wrong.
Police reports often tell stories that only go surface-deep. There tends to be a basic fact pattern to explain the whos and whats, but sometimes subtle yet crucial details get left by the wayside. Things like mechanical defects, the speeds of the vehicles, whether or not safety features functioned, and other not so obvious factors can easily be overlooked by these early investigations. After any accident, especially one where someone is hurt or killed, all possible factors--however unlikely they may be--need to be considered. It's for this reason that I've always advocated for the use of 3rd party investigators.
The above article goes in-depth about the advantages of using independent investigators, but the basic principal is that they are professionals who specialize in examining truck accidents. While police sometimes might overlook or ignore information, 3rd party investigators take steps to ensure every possible factor is thoroughly examined. It doesn't matter if something is unlikely or seemingly insignificant. If it could have contributed to the crash, then it gets examined.
With the help of a 3rd party investigator, victims and their families can ensure that they are looking at the complete story following an accident. Whenever someone gets a serious diagnosis from a doctor, they often seek a second opinion from a specialist. This isn't a slight at the first doctor; this is someone who wants to move forward with complete certainty of their situation. Accidents should be the same way. Whether someone wants to seek compensation following a crash or simply wants to know the truth of what happened, 3rd party investigators are an indispensable resource.
--Grossman Law Offices