Shoddy Back Roads May Have Caused Fatal Crash

Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Perlmutter & Schuelke, LLP

“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.

The collision happened early one Wednesday afternoon when Cristina Munoz and Nicolas Cruz were on their way to their second jobs, each from a different direction. They both also worked at the Mahard Pullet Farm, but never made it to work on the 6th of June. Both vehicles, a Mazda and a Saturn, met head-on, killing both drivers instantly. First responders got to the scene quickly, but found the man and his wife dead.

A police investigation of this tragedy revealed no one specific cause, but officers indicated unclear speed signs, poor visibility due to a large hill and no lane markings on the country road contributed to the crash. Troopers involved in the after-crash reconstruction recommended the back country road be upgraded to prevent further fatal accidents. Drivers were at a serious disadvantage without proper speed and roadway signage. There are no center stripe markings, no shoulder marking and no road markings to show lane designations. Even though Munoz and Cruz were wearing seatbelts, the force of the impact killed them instantly.

The negligence in this story is twofold – that of the local municipality for not properly maintaining the road in accordance with proper markings and that of the drivers for possibly speeding in the presence of 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, whether that may involve apportioning blame for causing the accident or not. Even with the devastating loss of their parents, they would require some form of compensation to be able to move forward and carry on with their lives,” said Schuelke.

As for the county, no one is certain what they intend to do with County Road 87. It has all the earmarks of a death trap and in order to save lives, investing time and money into making the road safe may make sense.