MCKINLEY COUNTY, N.M. (KRQE) – A fatal crash earlier this month is highlighting the dangers of driving through construction zones on the interstate.
A State Police cruiser captured the crash and the aftermath. Now, the New Mexico Department of Transportation is hoping drivers learn from this tragedy.
Video released by New Mexico State Police shows the moment a semi-truck, crashed into the back of a parked tractor-trailer on I-40 east of Gallup.
When the officer, who had been following closely behind, arrived at the scene, all that was left was rubble. The back of the trailer had been smashed, and debris covered the highway.
Multiple people ran towards the destruction to help the trapped driver out of the truck, but it was too late. The cab of the truck caught fire, with 36-year-old Phillip Webb stuck inside. Webb died in the crash.
This is a harsh reality for the New Mexico Department of Transportation.
“Unfortunately, we do see a lot of accidents, and sometimes even fatalities,” said Kimberly Gallegos, a spokesperson for NMDOT.
New Mexico State Police say the trailer Webb crashed into was stopped because of construction. The DOT says it posts signs warning drivers of upcoming construction zones, with hopes that they prepare accordingly.
“We really ask that people follow the speed limit–also take into account the wind and the weather factors–and it just makes everything more dangerous, especially in a construction zone,” said Gallegos.
State Police have not concluded what lead to the crash, but alcohol was not a factor.