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Lawyers investigating quadruple fatal crash on U.S. Highway 550

Steve Garrison
The Daily Times

FARMINGTON — An attorney said last week that his law firm is investigating the two-vehicle crash on U.S. Highway 550 that killed a Texas family of four in early August.

Texas attorney Frank Lyle of Springer & Lyle LLP of Denton, Texas, said Thursday that he and attorney Randy Roberts of the Roberts and Roberts Law Firm of Tyler, Texas, are representing the surviving members of the Miller Family. Michael Miller, 47, his wife Leann, 48, and their children Zoey, 12, and Miles, 7 were all killed on Aug. 8.

The family was heading north on U.S. Highway 550 when their vehicle was struck head-on by a pickup truck near mile marker 130, about 20 miles south of Bloomfield.

Brian Lee, a 24-year-old oil field employee from Aztec who was driving the pickup, was cited by New Mexico State Police for inattentive driving in relation to the crash, according to an accident report. He was suspected of being fatigued or asleep when the crash occurred, the report states.

An investigation of the crash by The Daily Times revealed that construction workers doing routine maintenance had filled in centerline rumble strips on the stretch of highway where the crash occurred.

The rumble strips, designed to warn a fatigued or sleeping driver that he or she is crossing the centerline, were created to address the type of crash that killed the Miller family.

Lyle said his firm was in the early stages of investigating the crash.

"Part of deciding to pursue a lawsuit is trying to determine who is involved," he said.

Melissa Dosher, spokeswoman for the New Mexico Department of Transportation, said in an email that the department's policy prohibits her from discussing litigation and the department takes public safety and litigation seriously.

Steve Garrison covers crime and courts for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4644 and stgarrison@daily-times.com. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGarrisonDT on Twitter.