A massive 20-car pileup occurred around 5:30 pm—rush hour—in Romeroville on Monday, about 7 miles south of Las Vegas, NM on I-25. The crash killed 2 and required the hospitalization of at least 30 others. Our firm was notified about the crash when two of the injured survivors called us for counsel.
One witness was able to describe to New Mexico police exactly what happened:
Due to icy roads, a northbound vehicle slid and struck the median. Behind it, an 18-wheeler attempted to avoid a collision—but ended up jackknifing and causing multiple collisions as a result. This crash is what caused a second and a third 18-wheeler to crash into the pile, each causing several cars to crash right behind them.
Jackknifing, if you’re unfamiliar with the term, is when a truck turns too sharply at a high speed, causing the trailer and the cab to fold into each other. Jackknifing typically robs the driver of control of the vehicle—1 in 10 truck accidents that result in the death of the driver are jackknife accidents.
The local hospital (Alta Vista Regional Hospital) activated its emergency preparedness plan and mobilized their physicians and staff to accommodate the dozens of car accident victims. One hospital alone received 30 of the injured survivors.
Sadly, two people in two different vehicles suffered fatal injuries. The news has kept their identities private until families could be notified.
“Our Crews Had Been…Doing Preventative Work”
The inciting incident of the crash was allegedly caused by icy roads, so the New Mexico Department of Transportation commented on the story. As recently as Sunday night, the NMDOT crews were salting and sanding the roads in the area, according to the statement.
Our hearts go out to the victims and their families of this massive and tragic crash. We wish them all a speedy recovery.