The family who lost their loved one in the tragic sand suffocation case will receive almost $80 million dollars. The massive amount was issued out because the judge who presided over the sand suffocation case, New Mexico District Judge Shannon Bacon, felt that an important message needed to be sent to the trucking industry company. As explained by the Associated Press' report on Dec. 10, Laura Miera was killed back in 2002 when a tractor-trailer plowed into her car which caused the vehicle to become buried after the semi's open load of sand turned over onto her car.
Although Miera was not killed by the impact of the semi slamming into her vehicle, she suffocated as teachers and students at a nearby school tried desperately to dig her out of the sand.
The tragic sand suffocation death occurred just a few minutes after Miera dropped off her 14-year-old daughter, Casandra, to her middle school.
Regarding the sand suffocation case, the Miera family attorney, Jake Vigil, gave the following statement:
“Her mother was being consumed by the sand and with a witness, a counselor from the school, holding her hand praying with her while she was asking for help." He added..."It was devastating."
The Miera family filed a wrongful death lawsuit in 2003 against the truck driver in the fatal accident as well as the trucking and gravel companies involved — Quintana Enterprises and Albuquerque Redi-Mix.
The suit alleged that at the time of the crash, the truck had bad brakes and an expired registration. On top of this, it was also revealed that driver had past arrests for drunk driving.
It is unclear as to why the legal battle of the sand suffocation case has been going on for so long but on Monday, the judge finally made a ruling. However, the huge award will not heal the wounds of those who lost their loved one in what they called a "slow and painful death."
Perhaps the most compelling testimony in the sand suffocation case was from the family's attorney when he gave the following statement:
"The school counselor was holding her hand, praying while the sand just rose above her head, and the counselor just kept saying 'Squeeze my hand if you can hear me.' She squeezed for a while until she died."