The brakes on the semi-trailer that slammed into at least 15 cars on the Mexico City-Toluca highway Wednesday and killed 10 people were in working order, an investigation has determined.
The driver, a 41-year-old woman who was uninjured in the crash, told authorities that her brakes failed, causing her to completely lose control of the trailer.
However, Mexico City police chief Raymundo Collins suggested that the driver may have been unable to reach the brakes due to her height.
“These trailers are very big; in order to drive them and get your feet to the pedals you have to be a certain height. It caught my attention that the person [driving], without speaking badly of her, is a woman of short stature,” he said.
Mexico City Attorney General Edmundo Garrido told a press conference yesterday that preliminary results of the investigation into the horrific crash indicate that “the vehicle was being driven at a speed greater than 100 kilometers per hour.”
He explained that experts had reached that conclusion “taking into consideration the trajectory the trailer followed from contact with the first vehicle until it stopped as well as the deformation of the vehicles involved.”
Garrido said the truck’s brakes were found to be working.
Some victims had to be cut out of their crumpled vehicles by rescue crews. In addition to the 10 deaths, 16 people were hospitalized and 25 to 30 people were treated for minor injuries at the scene of the crash.
The trailer was transporting a 24-tonne load at the time of the accident, which is believed to have increased the force of the impact.
Garrido said the driver, a México state resident identified as Ana N., had been working for the the transport company that owned the trailer since July 2013 but had only started as a driver in September 2017.
A blood test to determine if she had consumed alcohol or drugs prior to the accident was negative, he added.
Still, Ana N. could face up to 50 years’ imprisonment for the culpable homicide of 10 people as well as additional terms for inflicting bodily harm and causing material damage.
However, the attorney general said that a compensation agreement could be reached that would allow the driver to avoid jail time.
Transportes Easo said in a statement that it “deeply regrets the death of several people as a consequence of the accident in which one of its vehicles was involved.”
The company also said it will fully cooperate with authorities in their investigation into the incident.