18-Wheeler Trucking Company and Driver Found Liable for Deadly Crash
(Webb County, Texas)
A lawsuit on behalf of a Webb County man killed in an 18-wheeler crash has settled, announced attorney Billy Edwards, of the Edwards Law Firm, Corpus Christi. The 18-wheeler truck driver was sleep deprived according to police.
The crash, which killed Doroteo Gonzales, 63, of Sinton, TX and seriously injured three others, involved three vehicles traveling on State Highway 80 in Karnes County at about 7 a.m. on Jan. 6, 2015.
Linda Gonzales, Gonzales’ widow, had filed suit in Webb County District Court alleging Marcelo Rodriguez, 50, a driver for Texas Premier Resources, LLC, had exceeded federal hours of service limits for truckers before the crash that took her husband’s life.
The third vehicle involved in the crash was owned by Raider Services, LP, and driven by Jesus Mata, 24. The trucking company and Mata were also defendants in the lawsuit and were found negligent, and settled with Mrs. Gonzales, Edwards said.
Rodriguez was driving north on SH 80 when his 18-wheeler slammed into the back of a trailer being hauled by Mata, who had slowed to a stop intending to turn left onto County Road 266.
The force of the crash propelled the loaded trailer and pickup head-on into Gonzales’ southbound 18-wheeler. Gonzales, a driver for Dorado Oil Co., was killed outright by blunt force trauma, his arm severed in the crash. Mata and two passengers in the pickup, Devyn James Hill, 22, and Angel Garcia, 24, were critically injured. Hill and Garcia were also plaintiffs in the lawsuit.
The lawsuit alleged Mata and Raider Services contributed to the crash because Mata did not possess a commercial driver’s license and had not checked to see if the trailer lights were working before the trip.
Furthermore, according to police, Rodriguez’s driver’s logs were altered after the wreck to reflect he had slept longer than he’d told DPS troopers at the scene.
Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.
The case is Cause No. 2015-CVT-00080648D-1 in Webb County District Court, Gonzales, et al v. Texas Premier Resources, et al.