• January 17, 2017

Jesse Ables Killed, Lynn Stehley Hurt in Lea County, NM, Accident

Lea County, NM -- January 15, 2017, Jesse Ables was killed, Lynn Wilbur Stehley injured, after a single-vehicle accident where their car crashed off-road.

New Mexico State Police indicated that the accident occurred between Jal, NM, and Kermit, TX, along NM-18.

At around 7:00 p.m., 44-year-old Stehley was driving a passenger car down the highway. 32-year-old Ables was Stehley's passenger. According to police reports, their vehicle somehow lost control and went off the left side of the highway. It careened over the grassy median and across oncoming traffic lanes. It left the side of the road again and then overturned.

As a result of the crash, both occupants were ejected from the car. Ables suffered fatal injuries. Responding emergency officials pronounced Ables dead at the scene. Stehley had serious injuries and was taken to a hospital in Texas.

Authorities did not say what factors contributed to the accident. Their investigations are ongoing.

Map of the Area

Commentary

Considering the preliminary reports on this accident are still vague on details, it's important to remind people not to put complete trust in these early reports. They're often missing important information, and they've often got facts wrong in the past. Without the full picture, there's no way to say for sure what caused the accident. A lot of people automatically assume the driver is at fault for a single-vehicle accident. While it is certainly common, it's unfair to label all single-vehicle accidents as driver error.

Our firm has been handling car accidents for nearly 30 years. I can tell you from experience that plenty of single-vehicle accidents are caused by factors beyond a driver's control. These factors can range from tire blowouts to poor road conditions to mechanical failures caused by product defects. There are a lot of different possibilities, and the article below is a more extensive look at the way an experienced attorney will approach a single-vehicle accident.

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These factors are not always obvious, and they're certainly not too common. As a result, it's not unusual to see initial police investigations overlook these factors entirely, dismissing them as unlikely or insignificant. Whenever someone is hurt or killed in a single-vehicle car crash, it's crucial to ensure investigations are unbiased and thorough. That's why I always advocate that victims and their families consider an independent investigation.

A dedicated professional who specializes in investigating car accidents will look at each and every possible factor involved in a car accident. It doesn't matter if the factors are uncommon or seemingly unimportant. Every aspect of the accident is thoroughly examined to ensure an accurate story is told. Moving forward with the complete picture and all the facts, victims and their families have the opportunity to take the next steps forward fully prepared and informed.

--Grossman Law Offices

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