MESQUITE, TX (01/27/2016) — Marisela Maldonado was killed, and Belen Soriano and Isabelle Mendez were injured, after a detached trailer caused a car accident on Wednesday morning.
According to the Mesquite Police Department (MPD), 61-year-old Marisela Gomez Maldonado lost her life after a detached utility trailer crashed into her vehicle in the 14400 block of eastbound Interstate 20 at Lawson Road in Mesquite, Texas.
Police reported that at around 11:27 a.m., a 2004 Dodge Ram pickup truck (driven by 53-year-old Laurie Ann Thomas) was traveling westbound along I-20, pulling a utility trailer. The utility trailer detached from the vehicle, crossed the center median, and struck Maldonado’s eastbound 2003 Ford Windstar van head-on.
Maldonado was taken via air ambulance (CareFlite) to Baylor Hospital in Dallas, Texas with critical injuries, but she died a short time later.
The two other occupants of the van, 48-year-old Belen Soriano and 37-year-old Isabelle Mendez, were both transported to Dallas Regional Hospital in Mesquite, Texas.
Thomas, and her three passengers—32-year-old Garth Thomas, 30-year-old Devyn Vega, and 3-month-old Jerimiah Vega—were not injured the wreckage.
“This is the first fatality accident of 2016,” according to the Mesquite Police Department. “The accident is still under investigation by the Mesquite Police Department Traffic Division.”
According to TxDOT, there were 418 motor vehicle accidents caused by unsecured loads throughout Texas in 2014. While is is a criminal offense to travel with an improperly-secured load, these drivers often go unnoticed until things go wrong. It’s often difficult to locate the owner responsible for the wreck, especially if they are unaware that anything has fallen from their vehicle.
If you’re ever pulling a trailer, we urge you to do everything you can to ensure that it is properly secured. Always check twice, and if possible, have someone else double check your work. This added step could help prevent an unfortunate tragedy in the future.