Shoddy Back Roads May Have Caused Spouses’ Fatal Crash
Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) August 6, 2014 – Newly married, a husband and wife collided head-on as they drove in opposite directions. Both were
“This wreck happened as both parties were travelling on the same road, County Road 87, in Vernon, Texas. The deceased couple left behind three children,” said Brooks Schuelke, an Austin personal injury attorney with Perlmutter & Schuelke LLP.
Early one Wednesday afternoon, Cristina Munoz and Nicolas Cruz were traveling to their second jobs, each from a different direction. They both worked at the Mahard Pullet Farm, but they never made it there on June 6. Their vehicles, a Mazda and a Saturn, met head-on. First responders got to the scene quickly, but they found the couple already dead.
A police investigation of this tragedy revealed no one specific cause, but officers noted unclear speed
signs, poor visibility due to a large hill and no lane markings on the country road as contributing factors.
Troopers involved in the after-crash reconstruction recommended that the back-country road be upgraded to prevent further fatal accidents.
Drivers are at a serious disadvantage without proper speed and roadway signage. There were no center stripe markings, no shoulder marking and no road markings to show lane designations on County Road 87. Even though Munoz and Cruz were wearing seatbelts, the force of the impact killed them both instantly.
The negligence in this case is twofold: the local municipality did not maintain or mark the road properly, and the drivers may have been speeding in unsafe conditions. “Cases like this are difficult for everyone involved, but the three children left behind may have no choice but to sue for wrongful death. That may or may not involve apportioning blame for causing the accident. With the devastating loss of their parents, the children will require some form of compensation to be able to move forward with their lives,” said Schuelke.
No one is yet certain what the county intends to do with County Road 87. In order to save lives, it may make sense to invest time and money into making the road safe.
Perlmutter & Schuelke, PLLC
206 East 9th Street, Ste. 1511
Austin, TX 78701
Call (512) 476-4944
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