18-Wheeler Crash Lawsuit Settled in Deaths of Four Oil Field Workers
(Corpus Christi, Texas)
The families of four oil field workers killed in a crash involving an 18-wheeler and reckless construction hazards have settled their lawsuits, announced their attorney Billy Edwards of The Edwards Law Firm, Corpus Christi.
Killed in the April 9, 2014 crash were Reynaldo “Rene” Jimenez, 19, of Skidmore, and Daniel Arredondo, 29, Richard Cuevas, Jr. 33, and Pedro Longoria, 30, all of Beeville. Their families had filed lawsuits against Con-Way Truckload, Inc., owner of the 18-wheeler and their truck’s driver, Paul Garin, and Anderson Columbia Co. Inc, the construction company working on the road.
The men, who worked for Midway Energy Services, were on their way to work their first day as a crew when the crash happened, said Brandy Jimenez, Jimenez’s widow. “Rene was going to be a lead welder for the first time. He was so excited,” she said.
“These were men in the prime of their lives. Except for the negligence and recklessness of the defendants, they would be working, supporting their wives and children, and contributing to their communities today,” said Edwards. Edwards and attorneys Angie Beltran and Chip Martens represented the Jimenez family.
The crash occurred in a construction zone on southbound I-35 just north of Cotulla in La Salle County. The men were in a pickup truck pulling a trailer during the pre-dawn hours when it struck the back of an 18-wheeler that had parked on an unmarked shoulder.
According to the lawsuit filed in Nueces County District Court, Anderson Columbia Co. Inc. construction workers had left the far left lane unpaved in violation of the Texas Department of Transportation contract rules. The complaint alleged:
- The Anderson Columbia workers had not laid down rumble strips designating a shoulder,
- Con-Way driver Garin was negligent in parking his rig on the shoulder when safer options were available, and
- The trucking company was negligent in its driver training.
“The construction company created a hazard by leaving the left lane unpaved, which encouraged drivers to use the right lane, then made it even more dangerous by not designating a shoulder. What looked like two lanes was, in reality, one lane and a shoulder. And the truck driver was parked on the shoulder. This created the perfect storm for disaster,” Edwards said.
The terms of the settlement were confidential.
Cuevas and Arredondo's family members were represented by David L. Rumley, of Wigington Rumley Dunn & Blair, LLP, and Kevin W. Liles, and Bryan K. Harris of Liles Harris, both Corpus Christi firms. Longoria family members were represented by Chad Matthews, Matthews, and Forester, of League City.
The defendants settled after the trial got underway January 22, 2016, in Nueces County District Court #1. Jimenez, et. al., v. Con-Way Truckload Inc, et.al. Case No.2016-CCV-1239-1.