Family Looking For Answers After Brake Drum Killed Man - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: |

Family Looking For Answers After Brake Drum Killed Man

 by Kim Powell

NewsWest 9

DENVER CITY - Caller to 911 operator: "He's following the truck that the wheel came off of and the guy won't stop." 

911 operator: "The guy won't stop? Okay." 

Caller: "Yeah..." 

On October 2nd just before noon, it was a nice, clear day near Eunice, New Mexico before tragedy struck.  

29-year-old Freddy Gonzalez and a colleague were driving a truck down State Road 8, while two other crew members were in a vehicle behind them. As a flatbed truck and an 18-wheeler were coming from the opposite direction, they noticed a flying object coming towards them.  

"Before they can take evasive of action, before they knew basically what hit them, a brake drum goes through the windshield of the truck operated by Freddy Gonzalez and takes his life," Joseph Zebas, the family's attorney, said. 

A 50-pound brake traveling at a high rate of speed flew through the driver side window and out the back, killing Gonzalez instantly. The two other vehicles pulled off to the side of the road, but neither driver got out. After just a few minutes, they both took off. 

Some crew members that were with Gonzalez tried to follow the trucks, but they wouldn't stop, leaving his coworkers and his family with unanswered questions. 

"Did the brake drum come off the flat bed truck? Or was it not bolted down and actually came off the axle?" Zebas asked. 

Many know Gonzalez as a hardworking family man, devoting his time to providing for his three kids, and his wife of 13 years. 

"My understanding from everybody that I know and will tell you, Freddy was a family man who had dreams and expectations for his family that was cut extremely short," Zebas said. "It's a devastating accident in which it could have absolutely been prevented. I think it's beyond negligence. I think if the company that lost the drum failed to keep the drum secure, caused the accident and fled the scene, that company had some problems."

If you have any information on the incident, please call New Mexico State Police at 575-622-7200 or Zebas Law Firm at 575-393-1234. 

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