A semi-truck lost its brakes and collided with more than a dozen vehicles on the Mexico City-Cuautla highway on Wednesday morning, killing at least six people and injuring 21.
According to Federal Police, the truck lost its brakes around 8:30 this morning near Tetelcingo. When the driver realized that his brakes weren’t working, he attempted to alert other drivers by flashing his lights, but lost control of the truck and crashed into 15 other vehicles on the highway before hitting a building and coming to a halt.
Emergency services arrived at the scene from the municipalities of Ayala, Yecapixtla and Cuautla and transported 17 people to nearby hospitals. A pregnant woman in critical condition was flown by helicopter to the Cuernavaca General Hospital, while firefighters spent an hour putting out the fire in the runaway truck.
The driver of the semi, which was carrying a load of rebar, was able to escape his vehicle before it caught fire. He was placed under arrest at the scene.
Morelos Public Works Secretary Fidel Giménez Valdez told reporters that the government will expropriate a property near the highway to build a runaway truck ramp to prevent future accidents of this kind.
“The state government is going to expropriate the land to build the ramp,” he said. “The Communications and Transportation Secretariat will provide the resources and carry out the project.”
Giménez added that an emergency escape ramp has been needed in the area for the past 30 years, but the project has been delayed by a local landowner who is demanding 10 times the market price for a property with highway frontage.
Police reopened circulation on the Mexico City-Cuautla highway at 11:00am.