On March 30, 2023, tragedy struck the New Mexico Division of Transportation (NMDOT) as a person of their have, staff Gerald Woodard, lost his everyday living in a motor vehicle crash though performing website traffic handle duties. Woodard, who had labored for the office for in excess of 20 years, was a beloved member of the NMDOT group and his decline has been felt deeply by his colleagues and friends.
Woodard was operating on the I-25 southbound frontage road in Socorro County when the crash transpired. According to experiences, a driver failed to gradual down or move over for the visitors handle zone and collided with Woodard’s auto. Woodard sustained fatal injuries in the crash and was pronounced lifeless at the scene.
Woodard’s colleagues have described him as a committed and hardworking worker who constantly went above and beyond to ensure the protection of the public and his fellow staff. His supervisor, NMDOT District Engineer Timothy Parker, spoke really of Woodard’s commitment to his job, stating, “He was a true experienced who constantly set basic safety initially. He took his occupation severely and generally designed confident that the community was secure when they traveled by means of his work zones.”
CRASH INVESTIGATION Desired
In accordance to the National Institute for Occupational Protection and Health and fitness (NIOSH), transportation incidents are the foremost induce of place of work fatalities in the United States. In 2019, 1,066 personnel had been killed in transportation incidents, accounting for 40% of all workplace fatalities. The NMDOT has been performing to deal with this concern by utilizing safety steps and coaching packages for their staff. The section requires all staff who perform on or in the vicinity of roadways to comprehensive a coaching application that handles subject areas these kinds of as website traffic regulate, individual protecting gear, and safe perform methods. The division also encourages motorists to obey targeted traffic guidelines and go more than for unexpected emergency automobiles and work zones.
Woodard’s dying has also introduced consideration to the great importance of the Move Above Law in New Mexico. The legislation necessitates motorists to shift in excess of or sluggish down when passing emergency vehicles, tow vans, and other assistance cars that are stopped on the facet of the street. The legislation was expanded in 2019 to incorporate all stationary motor vehicles, including NMDOT function automobiles and staff. Violating the Go In excess of Legislation can end result in fines and even imprisonment in selected cases. The “move over law” applies to all crisis automobiles, such as law enforcement autos, fire trucks, and ambulances, as nicely as tow vehicles and other roadside support cars. Violating the move in excess of regulation can outcome in a targeted traffic quotation and fines. Furthermore, failure to comply with the transfer about legislation can consequence in significant mishaps and accidents to to start with responders and other roadside staff. Thus, it is necessary for motorists to be aware of the go about legislation and to consider appropriate motion when passing crisis or roadside automobiles. Woodard’s dying is a sobering reminder of the risks that transportation employees experience and the relevance of basic safety actions and education programs to avert workplace fatalities.
The trigger of the crash involving the NMDOT worker, as perfectly as legal responsibility challenges, are nonetheless being investigated. Even so, Brian Colón, an seasoned New Mexico accident legal professional, said it is very important to have a comprehensive and independent investigation conducted by experienced professionals.
WRONGFUL Demise Declare
Pending the investigation, the relatives users of Gerald Woodard might be entitled to a wrongful death claim. Family members users of wrongful loss of life victims may possibly request damages for decline of companionship, pain and struggling, and emotional distress next a catastrophic incident such as this tragic incident.
“Every working day, transportation workers put their lives in jeopardy to assist safeguard drivers and travellers in New Mexico even though creating our infrastructure,” reported Brian Colón, Running Companion of Singleton Schreiber’s New Mexico offices. “This tragedy impacts his household, his mates, the overall NMDOT community as effectively as the more substantial inhabitants that depends upon the committed perform of men and women like Mr. Woodard. Anyone who has dropped a loved a single owing to the carelessness of some others must contact a wrongful dying attorney quickly to aid them by this intricate and coronary heart wrenching course of action.”
New Mexico’s premier personal damage legislation company Singleton Schreiber is furnishing analysis on the tragic incident that took put on March 30, 2023. For any authorized queries on this accident or any other New Mexico own personal injury or wrongful demise circumstance, contact Singleton Schreiber at our Los Lunas office environment at (505) 807-0426 or electronic mail [email protected].