Emergency Vehicles Involved in New Mexico Car Accidents: Recent Story Highlights Dangerous, Liability

- Mark Caruso

Recent Albuquerque Police Car Car Killing a Young Boy Highlights the Dangerous in  New Mexico Car Accidents with Emergency Vehicles

We are learning more from an investigation report of an April 17, 2017 motor vehicle crash in Albuquerque, New Mexico wherein an Albuquerque police officer was responding to call of a man wielding a machete in a local store.  The officer was traveling at approximately 80 MPH on his way to the scene with his lights and sirens on.  He approached an intersection where he had a green light.  Another vehicle, which also had the green light, was turning left at the intersection.  The officer applied his brakes but collided into the rear of the vehicle turning left.  A young boy, Joel Anthony Suina (6-years-old) was killed and his 9-year-old sister suffered a pelvis fracture, a head injury, lung injury, liver injury, and kidney injury.

Here at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C., we see too many of these types of crashes.  We honor and respect our law enforcement to the fullest, but we also recognize their jobs bring peril.  Generally, emergency vehicles are commonly involved in New Mexico car crashes not solely due to the actions of an officer, but due to the natural and inherent danger of this line of work.  Any vehicle speeding and growing through an intersection is a dangerous vehicle, even with the green light.  If you or a loved one have been injured in an emergency vehicle crash in Albuquerque, Las Cruces, or anywhere else in New Mexico, call our experienced personal injury lawyer for a FREE consultation by dialing (505) 883-5000 to learn more.

Dangers of Intersections and High Speeds

The causes of car accidents can be viewed as a recipe for disaster.  Several ingredients just make car accidents much more potent to cause serious injury or wrongful death.  Intersections are the most dangerous location on the roadway because lanes of traffic are crossing over other lanes of traffic creating the potential for a collision.  Speed is also a dangerous factor, as the reaction time goes down but the braking distance increases.  The force and momentum is also greater and stronger.

Emergency vehicles commonly invoke both of these added dangerous, such as the news story from above.  In fact, intersections are known to be one of the most dangerous locations for any emergency vehicle—especially when the light is against the emergency vehicle.  Here, even though the light was not against the driver, it still lead to a very deadly accident.

Liability in Emergency Vehicle Crashes

When an emergency vehicle is involved in a motor vehicle crash in New Mexico, there could be many liable parties.  The most basic and common party is the driver of the emergency vehicle.  Another common entity that is liable is the police department or agency, which is vicariously liable for the acts of its employees within the scope of employment.  Here, the police department could absolutely be liable for the subject crash because the crash occurred within the drivers course of employment and while responding to the crash.

Unfortunately, another person who could be liable is the driver of the vehicle turning left.  The 6-year-old and the 9-year-old were passengers, and not comparatively at fault for this accident in any way.  But there could be, however, liability for the driver for not noticing the sirens or lights at an intersection.  This may be very unlikely given the facts, but it is a possibility which must be taken into consideration to protect the rights of the injured children at all cost.

Crashes with Emergency Vehicles are Very Serious: Call a New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer if This Happened to You

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, call the experienced New Mexico car accident attorneys at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C. today by dialing (505) 883-5000 You can also contact us on our website through the easy to use and convenient Contact box located by clicking here.