A semi-truck driver who caused a horrific crash that killed a teen was arrested in Albuquerque less than a month ago. 

Three additional crashes that resulted in fatalities occurred less than two months ago.

These accidents – and hundreds like them in New Mexico in past decades – share the common thread of semi-truck drivers striking motor vehicles and killing innocent people. 

Chain reaction injuries and death

Although the accident that took the life of the teen occurred in the summer of 2016, the trucker was just recently brought to justice in New Mexico.  Daniel Crane was sentenced to probation for vehicular homicide.  He violated his probation, then successfully eluded authorities for some time.  He was arrested and jailed in May 2018.   

Crane, a longtime Jemez Springs resident, rear-ended Summer Lee, 18.  His semi-truck hit her vehicle with enough force to plow in to the vehicle in front of her, causing a chain reaction and several severe injuries.   

Driver errors

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration,  (FMCSA), motor vehicle crashes with semi-trucks are “complex events.”

However, complex as they may be, crash reports involving semi-trucks and motor vehicles most often include errors on the part of the semi-truck driver and multiple vehicle pile-ups.  Authorities at FMCSA say that the cause of semi-truck versus car accidents can take place “hours, days or months before the crash.” 

Driver training, driver experience, the design and condition of the truck, highway conditions and weather conditions are more of a factor when speaking in terms of a semi-truck accident. 

Next steps

If you or a loved one are involved in crash with a semi-truck, call attorney Brian Branch at 505-764-9710 immediately and make an appointment for a free case evaluation.

Regulations designed to protect   

Semi-trucks and their drivers are subject to federal regulations, as defined by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) that provide one, eight, fourteen and 60/70 rest limits versus drive time limits.  These regulations were designed to protect the safety of the truck driver and motor vehicle drivers who share the road with these massive trucks. 

Often times, truck drivers are under immense pressure to deliver perishable cargo.  Many drivers are sub-contractors who will only be paid upon delivery, so short-cuts and evasive measures are taken, including ignoring the FMCSA limits on drive time.  This creates over-tired driver hazards for motorists who share the road with truckers.      

National crash statistics illustrate the necessity for FMCSA and DOT regulations:

  • 90 percent of semi-truck accidents are the result of human error
  • Nearly one quarter of semi-truck versus car accidents result in severe injury
  • Rollover, jackknife and front-end collisions account for 50 percent of semi-truck accidents
  • Semi-truck drivers who are impaired or sleep deprived are 98 percent more likely to cause an accident that results in a fatality

Since our founding in in 1997, attorneys and staff at The Law Office of Brian K. Branch, PC have been providing aggressive representation with compassion for the victims of accidents throughout New Mexico.  Please call 505-207-4401 to schedule a free consultation today.