POSTED: Wednesday, December 19, 2012 - 5:40pm
UPDATED: Friday, December 21, 2012 - 9:14am
Tips Follow Police Officer's Death on I-10
EL PASO — Part of the tragedy which took the life of El Paso Police Officer Angel Garcia is that the accident might have been prevented. The driver with a loose ladder could have prevented it from tumbling onto the interstate. The four cars involved in the wreck, later recorded on TX-DOT cameras, might have done a better job signaling each other that trouble was on the road; the police report will have more to say about that. And drivers who passed the hazard and didn't call 911 might have unintentionally contributed.
Police Information Officer Javier Sambrano tells us, "Many people sometimes think, 'somebody' must have called this in; you know I'm sure there's other people who have seen it. Don't assume that, make sure that you take that initiative and report that information"
Alamo Auto Supply knows very well the mistakes drivers make when driving down the road with light loads or very heavy ones.
Assistant manager Ray Ramos explains, "The mistake is they lay the ladder just on top of the cab, and they don't tie it down to anything." And for a mattress caught by the wind? "A mattress sometimes doesn't fit into the bed, so what guys do is, they just lay it on the side of the bed, and it flies out."
Auto supply stores offer many options to secure items. Many are professionally built and carry a higher price tag. But even for drivers who can't or won't pay real money to secure their loads, there are inexpensive, low-tech choices that are much better than no choice at all.
Alamo employee Curtis Gwin showed us the inventory. "Bungee cords, available in a variety of lengths and sizes, basically just stretch it, stretch it and hook it; and a ratchet set. Basically a little bit heavier duty basically a ratchet-type strap with hooks, ratchet it down, tie it down...very secure, very secure."
And what if you're the driver who loses an item? Don't keep trucking. it's your duty under the law to, pull over and call the police.
Other notes on spilled loads:
That can be up to a 500 dollar fine from the city and even worse, civil action, in other words if something comes off your car or truck and damages another car or the people in, they can sue you.
We've all been told that we can't use a cell phone while driving in El Paso, but 911 emergency calls are allowed.
Also, remember if a police or sheriffs car is stopped in any lane, usually on the right shoulder of the road, you need to get over at least one extra lane to allow that officer a safe space to do his or her job.
And of course, never walk out into a lane of traffic to recover your spill or anyone else's. Call 911 and let the police do their work.