Driver Charged with Manslaughter for Four Deaths on Texas Team

Texas North Central Texas Softball Team

All Occupants of Team Van Were Seriously Injured in the Tractor-Trailer Wreck

The driver of a tractor-trailer was charged on Friday with four counts of fatal tractor-trailer accident occurred on Interstate 35 near Turner Falls in Southern Oklahoma. The North Central Texas College softball team was returning to their Gainesville, TX campus from a game they had played in Oklahoma earlier in the day. 

53 year-old Russell Staley was driving a Quickway Transportation Inc. truck north on I-35. In an area of I-35 that curves, Mr. Staley continued straight into the 92-foot wide center medium, where he rode for about 1,100 feet before heading into the oncoming Southbound traffic lane and striking the NCTC van. The tractor-trailer continued flying down the interstate until it came to rest in a wooded grove almost 300 feet off the interstate. 

The force of the impact sliced off the left side of the van and toppled it onto its right side. Four young women ages 18 to 20 died in the crash. All other occupants, including 12 other softball players and their coach who was driving the van, were seriously injured. The man responsible for this tragedy suffered only minor injuries.

Evidence indicates that Mr. Staley did not apply the brakes before hitting the van. In addition, a marijuana pipe and prescription drugs were reportedly found in the cab of his semi. 

Criminal Charges May Deter Other Drivers from Negligent Conduct

Criminal charges will not bring back the promising students whose lives were cut short in this tragic accident. But, holding the driver criminally responsible may bring the injured victims and the families of those who died a sense of justice. In addition, other 18-wheeler drivers may think twice before driving while impaired or distracted. Mr. Staley faces very harsh consequences for his actions, including a very long prison sentence. 

The victims and their families have also filed lawsuits against the driver’s employer. Since there is no way to jail a corporation, the next best thing is causing it financial repercussions that make safety more profitable than taking cost-cutting risks. 

Bill Berenson Advocates for Tractor-Trailer Victims

Berenson Law Firm exclusively handles vehicular collision cases. Our firm has experience suing big tractor-trailer corporations and drivers responsible for accidents. Today, we proudly announce that we successfully resolved another case where our client was hit by a tractor-trailer on Interstate 35 in Fort Worth.  If you were injured by an 18-wheeler, call our Dallas-Fort Worth law firm today at 817-885-8000 for a free case evaluation. We can help you recover the damages you deserve.

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