Geraldo Velez-Portes of Perth Amboy Died In Elizabeth Semi-Truck Accident On The New Jersey Turnpike Not Far From The Newark Liberty International Airport
UNION COUNTY, NEW JERSEY (November 11, 2021) – A man identified as Geraldo Velez-Portes has tragically died in a box truck accident on the New Jersey Turnpike not far from Exit 13-A.
Union County police officials are saying that the accident took place around 7:00 a.m. on Wednesday, November 10th. Geraldo Velez-Portes was a passenger in a Hino box truck that collided with the back of a tractor-trailer truck.
Firefighters and paramedics were called to the scene of the collision in order to help the victim. A man in the driver side of the box truck was able to leave the accident with only minor injuries.
Emergency responders were eventually able to extricate Geraldo Velez-Portes. Life-saving measures were attempted, but he could not be saved and died from his injuries.
A full investigation into the crash remains ongoing at this time.
Liability In Elizabeth Semi-Truck Accidents
Nearly 4,000 people are killed every year in accidents with commercial trucks. Tens of thousands more are left with serious injuries that required hospitalization. Commercial trucks are much more difficult to handle than passenger vehicles. For instance, they can take substantially longer to come to a stop. Inexperienced truck drivers may not realize this and rear-end another vehicle. There are many other factors that could potentially contribute to a truck accident.
- Driver fatigue: Truck drivers have very stressful jobs and they are often put under an enormous amount of pressure to complete their routes as quickly as possible.
- Inclement Weather: Weather is a leading contributor to truck accidents. It can reduce visibility and make the roads more slick.
- Traffic Congestion: Accidents are more likely to occur during periods of heavy traffic. Many truck drivers get distracted and fail to stop in time.
Truck drivers must obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and are held to a high standard in terms of safety. A truck driver could be liable for an accident if they rear-ended another vehicle. According to New Jersey Vehicle Code 39:4-89, “The driver of a vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard to the speed of the preceding vehicle and the traffic upon, and condition of, the highway.” There is typically a presumption of negligence on the part of a driver that rear-ends another vehicle. Rear-end collisions nearly always happen due to a driver that is speeding, failing to maintain a safe distance or distracted. However, the driver of the lead vehicle could be responsible for an accident if they made a dangerous lane change prior to the collision.
Depending on the specific facts of any case, liability for a truck accident could extend beyond any driver. For example, a truck company could be liable for an accident involving one of their drivers. Generally speaking, companies are liable for the negligent conduct of their employees – insofar as those employees were working within the course and scope of their job duties. Truck companies, however, will often try to evade liability for accidents by hiring their drivers as “independent contractors.” It is important to determine the status of a truck driver at the time of a collision. There are many other steps that should be taken after any truck accident.
- Eye witnesses should be interviewed.
- Photos of the accident site should be taken.
- Medical records should be preserved.
- All drivers should be interviewed.
The family of any victim that died in a truck accident may be able to seek some measure of justice through a wrongful death claim. Damages in a civil claim can help cover lost wages, medical bills and pain and suffering. In order to win any civil claim plaintiffs will have to demonstrate negligence. Sadly, though, truck companies will often do everything in their power to deny responsibility for a crash. A New York wrongful death attorney can examine all of the unique facts of your case and let you know what your legal options are.
Investigating An Elizabeth Semi-Truck Accident
We at Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. extend our deepest condolences to the family of Geraldo Velez-Portes. Any person that may have more information about the collision should reach out to investigators. There needs to be a thorough investigation for the sake of all who have lost so much.
This accident raises a number of safety concerns. Did the lead truck driver make a dangerous lane change before the crash? Was the box truck driver distracted? Could this tragedy have been prevented? The vast majority of truck accidents can be prevented when drivers scan the road ahead of them and follow all traffic laws.