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Re: Sad News - Tow Operator Fatality New Mexico


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Here's sad news of a tow operator fatality that occured early this morning

making this the first fatality of 2019.  According to the news, tow operator, Pat Sisneros, of Madrid Towing, was struck and killed as he attempted to assist a NM state police officer. According to State Police, a semi-truck crashed into a State Police vehicle just before 1 a.m. Police say Pat Sisneros stopped to assist the officer when another semi collided into Sisneros' tow truck, killing him. All lanes on I40 Eastbound MM 157 were closed due to the motor vehicle accident involving the second semi-truck. It was also reported that 20-degree temperatures caused lanes to be were extremely icy. Details are few and an investigation is being on-going. My prayers are with the Sisneros' family and the company Pat worked for.



Randall C. Resch

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Tow truck driver killed, officer injured in I-40 crash

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The latest winter wallop has claimed an innocent man's life.


“The tow truck driver was just being a good Samaritan,” Officer Dusty Francisco with New Mexico State Police said. 


Seven vehicles, including four semis, were involved in a chain reaction crash around one this morning.


Chopper 4 flew over the scene that spread out over several miles on I-40 East, shutting down traffic for hours.


“Due to the weather and road conditions, I mean you're driving on black ice, so it makes it harder to stop,” Officer Francisco said. 


State Police said an officer responded to a crash and was rear-ended by a semi.


“A tow truck driver from Madrid Towing, stopped to assist the state police officer, and when it did, another commercial motor vehicle approached the scene and struck the tow truck…tow truck driver, along with the State Police vehicle a second time,” Officer Francisco said. 


State police said 50-year-old Pat Cisneros of Albuquerque died at the scene. The officer suffered minor injuries and is expected to be ok. 


“I mean with the inclement weather and road conditions, we put out stuff on social media to drivers to slow down, be careful and for something like that to happen, it’s, it’s unfortunate,” Officer Francisco said. 


No other injuries were reported. Police continue to investigate the crash and whether speed was a factor.


KOB reached out to Madrid towing. The company’s owner, Gerald Madrid, provided us this statement on the loss of their valued employee and friend.

"Pat was my lead tow driver here at Madrid. His passion was driving tow trucks. He died doing what he loved. In addition, trying to help someone else, in the process, lost his life. Pat will be missed,” Madrid said.


RESOURCE LINK with video

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Gods Speed, seems he stopped to provide additional for an state police officer would was involved in an accident.


While there are factors we cannot control, we can go after the truckers and their companies that do not train their drivers to give us room to work and stay alert to road hazards. Years ago the CB Radio warned them of these dangers. Many no longer use the CB and instead turn the music up, even using ear buds. Yes, I have seen this often.


Our Thoughts and Prayers are with the Family & Friends!

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This is another needless death. Although I didn't know Pat personally, I do know the company and they are good people always looking to help out. I have worked that same stretch many times when I was in Albuquerque.


This also speaks to the desperate need for trucking industry reform and better entry level driver training standards. The roads were icy, New Mexico is experiencing unusual winter weather conditions that they simply are not prepared for, yet this "professional" driver chose to continue on trying to meet a schedule or whatever. There needs to be a better understanding of weather related delays to help encourage truckers to shut down when it is bad out. My gut feeling is the electronic logging mandate, although artificially, has placed increased pressure on drivers to "push through" because of that set in stone digital clock staring them in the face. Before, they could go slower and make it look right at the end of the day.


Further, there needs to be better entry level driver training of ALL drivers, not just truck drivers. I also would like to see reoccurring training, continuing education if you will, for all drivers to renew their licenses. With this continuing education we could address current issues such as slow down move over, distracted driving and other issues directly impacting highway safety. I find it absurd that many Americans obtain their driver license in high school and never have to update their knowledge or prove they are still competent drivers. Simply pay your renewal fee and pass an eye exam and what you learned 30 or 40 years ago is good enough! Absurd.


Enough ranting, it won't bring back Pat. Hopefully it stirs thought and we find a way to increase the level of skill among American drivers before there are not any of us left willing to work on the roadways.

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While this is not the time for such discussion, it must be discussed before an action plan can be put it place. 


"My gut feeling is the electronic logging mandate, although artificially, has placed increased pressure on drivers to "push through" because of that set in stone digital clock staring them in the face."


I have been hearing this louder and louder that because of the ELD. The dispatchers are pushing the drivers harder. One trucker stated he is one of the few English speaking drivers in the company and he has to routinely tell the person is is speaking with the speak English and to text in English. So, drivers are now be pushed harder. Wasn't that what the CDL and ELD was suppose to stop?

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