Baltazar Salazar was killed in a Miami, Florida 18 wheeler truck crash on Okeechobee Road yesterday. Salazar, a resident of Immokalee, Florida was was found floating face down in an adjacent canal. This case is still under investigation and it is not yet clear if he was ejected from his truck or if he sought refuge from fire, but later drowned.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the accident was caused when one of two tractor trailers failed to stop at a flashing red light.
The other truck was driven by a man named Lazaro Rojas who survived the accident without any obvious signs of injury.
However, what happened after the accident will blow your mind!
As the accident was being investigated by law enforcement, CBS-4 news reporter Peter D’Oench spoke with truck driver Lazaro Rojas as he stood by the scene of the accident. Here’s what was said:
“Can you tell me what happened?” asked D’Oench.
“Nope,” said Rojas. “It was an accident. One (truck) was coming this way. The other one was going that way. That’s it. An accident.”
“Do you remember anything else about it at all?” asked D’Oench.
“Nope,” said Rojas.
“Was there a flashing red light?” D’Oench asked.
“I don’t know,” said Rojas.
“Did you go through a flashing red light?” Rojas was asked.
“I don’t know,” he said.
“Did you stop at the intersection?” Rojas was asked.
“I don’t know. I say I don’t know. I don’t remember. I lost my memory.”
“Because of a concussion?” D’Oench asked.
“Yeah,” Rojas said.
As a Florida personal injury attorney who has spent almost 10 years fighting in the courtroom and who has been to trial more than 100 times, my opinion is that Rojas isn’t telling the truth.
If you watch the video, it is clear that Rojas does not have a head injury or any other injury for that matter. He is not bleeding, he does not appear bruised or swollen, he is not on a stretcher, he doesn’t have a head bandage, and to top it off, he is walking, talking, and acting perfectly normal.
Someone with a memory erasing brain injury will exhibit other signs of injury. For instance, such a person might have slurred speech, double vision, be unsteady on their feet, or otherwise “not look right.”
Rojas’ outward demeanor is simply inconsistent with a person who has such a severe brain injury that their memory is effected.
The kind of memory loss Rojas claims to have only happens in cartoons and telenovelas.
At least thats my personal opinion.
I don’t believe his claim and I don’t think a jury will either. To me, he looks like someone covering up his tracks.
That said, I am sure Rojas did not leave his house that morning looking to kill someone. I am sure this really was an accident. But it is one he is likely responsible for causing…
However, when a person dodges questions like Rojas did, people read that to mean that the person is covering up.
This is a very important fact in this case because a successful injury attorney representing Balthazar Salazar’s family will need to accomplish three things to present a winning claim:
1) Prove that Rojas is responsible for causing the accident.
2) Prove Salazar was killed as a result (this is obvious).
3) Make a claim against the insurance company for Rojas.
To prove Rojas was responsible, an injury attorney is going to look in a number of places for evidence. Rojas made this job easy by saying what he said.
Regardless, it will be important to pull the “black boxes” out of these trucks and see what data can be obtained about speed, breaks, etc. I am sure these trucks were also equipped with GPS trackers by the companies that own them. Knowing where each party was located and how fast they were traveling may crack this case.
Another source of data may come from eye witnesses who happened to see the accident or from adjacent surveillance video. Since this is a rural area, surveillance video may be hard to come by, but you never know.
It is clear to me that this case is going to hotly contested unless clear evidence can be found. For that reason, it is EXTREMELY important for injury attorneys representing Salazar’s family to act quickly to preserve evidence.
Private investigators working for injury lawyers will need to identify eye witnesses, comb the scene for evidence missed by police, and to get crash reports.
Building a winning case starts now.
By taking the proper steps now, an injury lawyer can increase the probability that Salazar’s family will be compensated fairly for his death.
First and foremost, we must show our respect for the deceased. My condolences go out to his family. I pray that they find peace and solace soon. Legal issues aside, we must recognize that there is a family in Immokalee suffering right now because their loved one has passed.
Second, we should acknowledge that this case was an accident and I am sure Rojas, although he may be acting very suspiciously, did not intend to harm or kill anyone. He probably wasn’t paying attention or simply did something wrong… like happens on our roadways every day.
Finally, it is important to remind our readers that this case is still under investigation and that it is still too early to draw any final conclusions about what happened. However, based on Rojas’ answers to Peter D’Oench, I strongly suspect he caused the accident and he knows it. Again, thats just my opinion based on what I saw in that news cast.