Despite advances in safety technology and public awareness campaigns designed to help drivers understand that their sole attention behind the wheel should be on the task of driving, too many fatal accidents still occur in New Mexico and throughout the country. Each one of these accidents can change the course of life for an entire family.

A tragic fatal collision in New Mexico was a recent example of how many different lives can be impacted by an accident. According to the reports, the incident occurred on the morning of February 22. The reports indicate that a 34-year-old man was driving his son, age 9, to school that morning in his Toyota Scion when another driver in a Lexus SUV made a left-hand turn in front of him. The man slammed into the SUV, which was being driven by a woman who had her daughter with her in the vehicle as well.

Although the reports state that both drivers – headed in opposite directions on the same street – had a green light in the intersection, a driver who is making a left-hand turn at that location, as the SUV did, would have been required to yield to the oncoming traffic in the other lane – the Toyota. It appears that when the driver of the SUV made the turn, the driver of the Toyota was not able to react in time. Both the 34-year-old man and his 9-year-old son died in the resulting collision. The driver of the SUV and her daughter were treated for injuries as well, but were released from care the day of the incident.

Although the investigation into the fatal accident is ongoing and law enforcement officials have yet to make a determination of fault in the collision, it appears that the initial facts indicate that the driver of the SUV may be mostly at fault. However, since New Mexico is a “comparative negligence” state, if the driver of the Toyota may have been, for example, speeding at the time of the crash, that would become a factor in any damages awarded in a lawsuit based on this incident.