Saturday, July 29, 2017


By Juan Montoya
As the recriminations fly in the traffic deaths of a mother and her child that left six siblings orphans, some city residents are asking whether it was really the lack of sidewalks which caused the deaths Janet Jimenez, 29, and her two-year-old, Yahel Ruben Cruz, who were stuck by a car as they walked along South Padre Island Highway.

Now some nearby residents are saying that perhaps the reason that Gustavo Muñoz, 72, who was charged with one count of criminal negligent homicide and aggravated assault causing serious injury, may have lost control of his vehicle and struck the mother and toddler may have done so was because of he huge ruts along the road left by the buses from the Brownsville Urban System and other heavy traffic.

One of the most vocal proponents of the theory that the lack of sidewalks along the road may have forced the mother and child and female companion to walk on the shoulder of the highway is City of  Brownsville commissioner Jessica Tetreau. She says that the overgrown ditch on the side of the road and no sidewalks there forces pedestrians to use the shoulder.

She has appeared on various media outlets to expound her theory and to call on the Texas Dept. of Transportation to install sidewalks all along that stretch of highway. TXDoT spokesmen have said the state highway department has no current plans to build sidewalks along that stretch of road.

There was no mention of alcohol being involved in the mishap in the police report, causing local residents to wonder whether it was something else that caused him to lose control of his vehicle
and slam into the mother and child, killing them. The child died instantly and the mother died days later.

Residents who live near the scene of the accident say that the heavy buses and 18-wheeler traffic that go into nearby businesses have left deep ruts on the side of the road that could cause drivers – especially a 70-plus-year-old man – to lose control. Additionally, the speed limit along that stretch is 55 miles per hour, which could make matters worse if a driver hit one of the holes.

As can be seen in the photos, there are holes all along the shoulder of the road.

"It is the buses that leave deep ruts all along that stretch of road," said a nearby resident who sent some pictures to prove his point. "Anyone who drives along that stretch and wants to turn into a driveway has to go through them. It's easy to see how that old man could have lost control of his car."

In fact, the ruts caused by the bus and heavy traffic stretch along the entire side of the road up to and past the intersection near where the two pedestrians were struck. Since the side of the road are overgrown with high grass and weeds, pedestrians are forced to walk on the shoulder, exposing them to the heavy traffic on that highway.

"It was a tragedy," said the man who sent us the photos. "But it's too simplistic to say the lack of sidewalks caused this. The ruts caused by the heavy buses and trucks as well as the overgrown ditch on the side of the road may have also played a large part in the accident."


Anonymous said...

Rene Oliveira s fault. His district. No infrastructure. Trails along roads like cow trails made by humans. People getting hit by cars as he drinks and dines with lobbyist money and lobbyist financed cadillac chasing skirts.

Anonymous said...

I see a shaded bus bench in top photo! Finally!!!! LOL

Anonymous said...

To correct all road conditions with 18 wheelers we must reroute heavy traffic thru highways. If all heavy 18 wheelers traffic goes thru toll road 550 going and coming from the port we will eliminate traffic congestion cast by this vehicles. Make it safe for schools on international boulevard,18 wheelers turnovers on trying to get back into the freeway ramp. Running caution yellows into red lights causing slower traffic to commute. Racing to get to the bridge in city traffic. Blocking in and exit ramp by waiting inline to get access to Mexico.

Diego Lee Rot said...

Free Gus!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 11:06 It takes a special kind of dumb-ass to Crack jokes at this tragedy . You have to be Duardo or Diego ;un par de pendejos.

Anonymous said...

Fuck off, Diego !

Anonymous said...

Even if there were sidewalks the grass is overgrown and we can't walk on them. There is no point to the city spending money on sidewalks if the property owners don't trim the grass. I'll send you some pictures! Even if there were sidewalks, do sidewalks stop cars? It was an accident. Can't blame the lack of sidewalks.

Anonymous said...

Mexican trucks paid a extra fee to haul over loaded cargo. Where's is that money that supposed paid for improvements, including sideways.

Anonymous said...

Had the driver maintained his vehicle on the highway....the ruts would have meant nothing. He is guilty of not maintaining his vehicle on the highway. Can't blame this on anything else.

Anonymous said...

So that photo depicts a safe travel road? Get out your glasses.

Anonymous said...

That road is maintained by the state.

Anonymous said...

Highway 48 is an overweight corridor - the fee paid goes to the Highway 48, a State road.