EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – The Chihuahua Attorney General’s Office said it will appeal a judge’s decision to downgrade charges – from homicide to manslaughter – against a trucker who allegedly crashed into roadside food stands last week, killing 10 people in Villa Ahumada, Mexico.
The trucker, identified by authorities only as Saul A.D., allegedly was under the influence of drugs and speeding when his semi veered off the road, struck a vehicle and overturned on top of the food stands and the patio of a restaurant on Sept. 7. Five food vendors in the bus-stop town known for its burritos and asadero quesadillas died from injuries, as did a self-employed vendor, a window washer and three bystanders.
The crash shocked residents and travelers who usually stop at the town 90 miles south of Juarez, Mexico. It also prompted calls from the food vendors’ cooperative to authorities to rein in speeding truckers and install speed bumps on the portion of Mexico Highway 45 that runs through the town.
Chihuahua state authorities said they will strictly enforce speed limits in the town and require truck drivers passing through Mexico’s largest state to rest every five hours or periodically switch places with a “co-pilot.”
The judge ruled that Saul A.D. will stand trial on the 10 manslaughter charges plus causing injuries and damages to private property. The judge determined the driver will remain in jail for the next 30 months or until the trial is concluded, the Attorney General’s Office said in a statement.
The judge decides guilt or innocence in most trials in Mexico.