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UPDATE: Gonzalo Hernandez-Mendez Killed In Semi-Truck Accident On Highway 152 In Santa Clara County


Sep 24, 2019

Gonzalo Hernandez-Mendez Gilroy: Gonzalo Hernandez-Mendez of Gilroy Killed In Semi-Truck Accident On Highway 152 east of Bloomfield Avenue In Santa Clara County

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIFORNIA (September 24, 2019) – A 51-year-old man from Gilroy identified as Gonzalo Hernandez-Mendez has tragically died in a semi-truck accident on Highway 152 also known as Pacheco Pass Highway.

California Highway Patrol are saying that the truck accident took place around 8:35 p.m. Gonzalo Hernandez-Mendez was driving a Toyota Tacoma east on Highway 152 and was slowing down in order to turn in a driveway. 

The driver of a 2007 Sterling truck failed to slow his truck in time and rear-ended the pickup truck driven by Gonzalo Hernandez-Mendez. The force of the impact ejected the victim from his pickup truck. 

A second vehicle identified as a 2018 Ford was also involved in the accident. Two adults and two children inside of the vehicle all sustained injuries. All of them had to be taken to the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. 

Despite life-saving efforts Gonzalo Hernandez-Mendez later died due to his injuries. A total of nine people were injured in the Santa Clara County truck accident on Highway 152 near Bloomfield Avenue.

Chris Miceli, public information officer for CHP Hollister-Gilroy, expressed concern about how road design may be creating a dangerous situation around the accident site. “Any time you have a two-lane road, nothing separating the two lanes of traffic, and a high speed limit; it’s 55 on that road, that’s cause for concern,” he said. 

Causes of Semi-Truck Accidents

Nearly 5,000 people are killed in accidents with commercial trucks ever year. The vast majority of the crashes 80% are caused by smaller vehicles. But truck drivers are therefore responsible for 20% of these accidents. The FMCSA reports that, “Fatigue, drinking alcohol, and speeding are major factors in motor vehicle crashes overall. Although their presence does not always result in a crash, these three factors, as well as other driver, vehicle, and environmental factors, can increase the risk that a crash will occur.” These factors tend to fall under four categories:

  • Non-Performance: Drivers may fall asleep or become medically incapacitated.
  • Recognition: Truck drivers get distracted like everyone else and may fail to observe a situation properly. 
  • Decision: Speeding or following the lead vehicle too close are dangerous and increase the likelihood of an accident
  • Performance: Truck drivers may panic and overcompensate following a near accident. 

Truck drivers are supposed to get adequate rest. But prescriptions, illness and an excessive work load can all affect this. A fully loaded semi-truck can weigh over 80,000 lbs and cause a serious accident. Even a low speed collision can leave victims with serious and lasting injuries including broken bones, internal trauma and death. Depending on the facts of any case, there may be numerous sources of liability for a truck accident. 

Liability For Semi-Truck Accidents

Semi-truck drivers must obey the rules of the road and travel according to the prevailing conditions. According to California Vehicle Code 22350, “No person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather, visibility, the traffic on, and the surface and width of, the highway, and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property.” Regardless of the posted speed limit federal and state laws typically cap a truck drivers speed at 55 mph.

In addition to driving the speed limit truck drivers must also follow vehicles at a safe distance. Commercial trucks take longer to stop than smaller vehicles. According to the FMCSA, “If you are driving below 40 mph, you should leave at least one second for every 10 feet of vehicle length. For a typical tractor-trailer, this results in 4 seconds between you and the leading vehicle. For speeds over 40 mph, you should leave one additional second.” A truck’s follow distance should be even greater in low visibility or adverse weather conditions. If a truck driver rear-ends another vehicle they will typically be found at fault for the car accident. 

The family of any victim that died in a semi-truck accident may have legal recourse through California Code of Civil Procedure 377.60. Damages in a civil claim can help cover funeral expenses, lost wages, medical bills and pain and suffering. Claimants in a civil matter will include the victim’s children, spouse, parents and siblings. Unfortunately, semi-truck companies will often fight hard to deny liability for an accident. A truck accident attorney can investigate your case free of cost, take steps to preserve evidence and make sure that your rights are being protected. 

Investigating A Santa Clara County Truck Accident

We at West Coast Trial Lawyers extend our deepest sympathies to the family of Gonzalo Hernandez-Mendez and all of those affected by this horrific accident. Any person that may have seen what happened should reach out to the California Highway Patrol as they continue their investigation. This accident should never have happened and there needs to be some accountability. 

Have you or someone that you care about been involved in a semi-truck accident? There are a number of laws designed to protect your rights. Our team of personal injury attorneys are here to answer any legal questions that you may have. We are committed to making sure that accident victims are aware of their rights so that they can make informed decisions. Whether you need a free investigation into an accident or just have questions about your rights we are are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (888) 888-9285. Se Habla Español. 

UPDATE: Gonzalo Hernandez-Mendez Killed In Semi-Truck Accident On Highway 152 In Santa Clara County

UPDATE: Gonzalo Hernandez-Mendez Killed In Semi-Truck Accident On Highway 152 In Santa Clara County

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