- Claudia Barraza, who died at the scene. Some reports say she was burned beyond recognition and required DNA identification.
- 42 year-old Mary Hernandez from Fort Worth also died at the scene from injuries to her head, chest, abdomen and extremities.
- 45 year-old Steve Franklin, a Fort Worth father of three children, also died at the scene. Mr. Franklin patrolled our streets helping out motorists who were having vehicle problems. His wife sustained severe injuries in the big-rig crash.
- 43 year-old Veronica Gonzalez died at the scene from brain, chest and extremities injuries. The Fort Worth woman is Elyssa's fiancée.
- Elyssa's 18 year-old sister, Clarissa Banda-Castillo, of San Antonio died that night at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas.
The injury lawsuit claims that the Ryder truck driver failed to slow down, take action to avoid the crash and keep a safe distance from the vehicles he struck. In addition, the lawsuit alleges that Ryder failed to train its drivers to take appropriate evasive action upon approaching an accident.For 35 years, Berenson Injury Law has helped numerous clients who suffered catastrophic injuries and has represented families in wrongful death lawsuits just like this one. We are here to help you if you have been involved in a tractor-trailer accident. Call our Dallas-Fort Worth office for a free case evaluation toll-free at 1-888-801-8585 or in the Fort Worth area at 817-885-8000, or click on the contact button on this web site.
Deadly Crash Killed Comedian and Friend of Tracy Morgan
Wal-Mart settled a wrongful death claim arising out of the June crash that killed James McNair and severely injured his friend comedian Tracy Morgan. The retail giant will pay Mr. McNair's children 26 year-old Jamel McNair and 19 year-old Denita McNair in annuities installments starting at $3,000 per month and increasing over time for the rest or their lives.
Although the settlement terms are confidential, the $10 million settlement amount was included in a motion for attorney's fees filed by the McNair family's lawyer in Westchester County Surrogate's Court in New York where the 62 year-old father lived.
Wal-Mart Driver Tired and Speeding at Time of Fatal Tractor-Trailer Wreck
The tragic tractor-trailer accident occurred in the early morning of June 7. Tracy Morgan, James McNair and their colleagues were in a limo driving back home from a performance they had given in Delaware just hours earlier.
Kevin Roper had reported to work at Wal-Mart in Delaware from his home in Georgia -- a commute of 700 miles -- and climbed behind the wheel of a tractor-trailer after 24 hours of being awake. Sleep-deprived and speeding, Mr. Roper didn't see a sign warning drivers about construction-related lane closures a mile ahead and didn't notice a second sign a half-mile later that lowered the speed limit from 55 to 65 mph.
The limo carrying the performers slowed down as it approached congestion caused by the construction. Mr. Roper's 18-wheeler slammed into the back of the limo, knocking the vehicle onto its side. Mr. Morgan suffered serious brain damage, from which he has not made a full recovery. In fact, sadly, he has said he may never be able to perform again, a loss to us all of a truly talented comedian who once starred on Saturday Night Live and 30-Rock. Mr. McNair, who Mr. Morgan calls his mentor and friend, died in the accident.
Wal-Mart Knew About Driver's Sleep Deprivation
Mr. Roper's supervisors knew that the driver lived in Georgia, yet required him to report to work in Delaware, rather than to a location closer to his home. This is a matter of public policy. With such a long commute, Wal-Mart was aware that its driver would not meet the rest requirements imposed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) hours of service regulations. Putting its sleep-deprived driver on the road was not only careless, but a violation of federal laws. Wal-Mart again disregarded hours of service requirements in February when its driver caused another deadly tractor-trailer crash in North Florida.
Wal-Mart needs to start putting the lives of the public ahead of profits and stop putting dangerously overworked, sleep-deprived drivers on the road.
Berenson Law Firm concentrates our practice solely on auto and tractor-trailer accident recovery. If you have been injured in an 18-wheeler crash, contact our Dallas/ Fort Worth attorney today to schedule your free evaluation. Call 817.885.8000.
Amount Set in 1980 Has Never Been Adjusted For Inflation
Tractor-trailers can cause massive injuries, often to more than one person. The owners of commercial vehicles in the $642 billion a year truck industry make substantial profits. And the risks of truck accidents have dramatically increased as over 500,000 of these giant trucks rush to deliver more products.
According to this report published by the U.S. Department of Transportation last year, the minimum amount of insurance that commercial freight operators is required to carry is ridiculously low. The coverage, only $750,000, is often inadequate to cover the catastrophic damage big rigs cause, especially if more than one person is injured or killed. This amount, unlike any other product or service you can name, has somehow remained the same for 35 years. I have blogged about this serious problem before.
Big-Rig Crushed Victim's Sports Car
Early Monday morning, a man in his late 20s was killed when his sports car became wedged beneath a tractor-trailer. Two other people suffered minor injuries that were treated at the scene. The horrific 18-wheeler accident unfolded just after 5 a.m. near the eastbound Loop 820 on southbound Interstate 35W in Fort Worth. The road remained closed this morning during rush hour traffic as fire rescue tried to reach the man who was later announced dead. Police are still investigating the cause of the 18-wheeler crash.
- The load is unbalanced and shifts during the turn
- The driver takes the turn too fast
- The driver turns too sharply or too little
- The driver over-corrects for path errors
- The driver is distracted or tired
Corporation Tries to Shift Blame from its Sleep-Deprived Driver to Victims for Not Wearing Seat Belts
In a shocking legal maneuver, Wal-Mart has accused Tracy Morgan, the beloved star of 30 Rock and Saturday Night Live, and his dear friend James "Jimmy Mac" McNair of being at fault for the horrific fatal accident.
You will remember that earlier this summer, a speeding, drowsy Wal-Mart driver slammed into the limousine carrying comedians Tracy Morgan, Jimmy Mac and their friends as they headed home after a performance. The truck accident killed Jimmy Mac and so seriously injured Mr. Morgan that he may never be able to perform again.
Wal-Mart Claims Victims Acted Unreasonably
Although investigators cited the truck driver's speed and sleeplessness as the only causes of the crash, the retail giant tried to shift the blame to the victims for not wearing seat belts in documents it filed in federal court Tuesday.