‘I’m the voice for the families that cannot speak:’ Harlingen woman who survived crash now advocates for truck safety

4 months 10 hours 43 minutes ago Friday, January 27 2023 Jan 27, 2023 January 27, 2023 6:45 PM January 27, 2023 in News - Local

In the last week, two major crashes in the Rio Grande Valley involving semi-trucks killed a total of five people.

For Harlingen resident Debra Cruz, the accidents bring unwanted flashbacks to a crash involving a semi-truck that nearly killed her 14 years ago.

RELATED: DPS investigating fatal crash near Edcouch

"I picture myself, like when I had my car crash,” Cruz said. “I had an out-of-body experience."

Cruz said she relives her experience every time she hears about crashes involving semis.

“My whole world, my whole life has changed because of this accident, this car crash,” Cruz recalled.

Cruz was in the ICU for more than a week following the crash that left her with lifelong injuries.

She had three brain surgeries, a nerve stimulator implanted in her brain and takes several medications a day. 

Cruz has since turned her pain into advocacy.

RELATED: Family mourning loss of Harlingen mother following fatal four-vehicle crash

Every two years, Cruz travels with the Truck Safety Coalition to Washington, D.C. to push for legislation that would improve truck safety

“I'm here to speak to represent the families,” Cruz said. “I'm the voice for the families that cannot speak. I’m their voice."

Watch the video above for the full story. 

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