Florida Trucker Killed in Early-Morning Altercation
A truck driver was killed in Florida after a dispute involving a machete at a gas station. The incident occurred early Thursday morning and involved three men, according to surveillance footage.
The driver, 38-year-old Yonny Lafont Mendez, was seen walking into the street before being struck by two vehicles. Miami police officers are currently investigating the incident to determine the details of the event.
Officers are primarily trying to determine whether the truck driver was attacked with the weapon, was involved in a fist-fight with the others, or simply ran into the road trying to flee from the incident.
The incident was said to have started early in the morning at around 5AM when Mendez entered the gas station. An altercation ensued, and one of the people involved ran to retrieve the machete from their vehicle.
One theory is that Mendez had left the station after being wounded, which would explain his haste to flee and the way which he entered the road so abruptly. One of the vehicles which struck him did not stop, and the police released information about possible damage to the other’s mirror, as well other details in an attempt to identify the vehicle.
The driver survived the impact but died of his injuries. This is another incident of a truck driver being victimized on the job – a problem many in the industry have been working to reduce. Drivers and safety advocates are well aware of the pressure put on drivers in unfamiliar areas.
The group Trucker Lives Matter has taken steps to make it easier for drivers to protect themselves while educating the public on the very real dangers drivers encounter. One of the most well-known victims, Michael Boeglin, was shot to death in his truck last year. The group named a bill after him, hoping to make it easier for drivers to carry firearms for self-defense over state lines.
18 US Code 926A, or Michael’s Law, aims to make it easier for drivers to carry firearms over state lines to protect themselves. Other measures have been taken as well, as more people begin to understand just how dangerous the trucking profession is.