Drivers file negligence lawsuit against companies involved in Fort Worth I-35 crash

Kaley Johnson
·2 min read

Three people filed a lawsuit Monday against various transportation companies involved in the deadly crash on I-35 in Fort Worth on Feb. 11, alleging the drivers drove unsafely and contributed to the pileup.

In the lawsuit, three Texas drivers say they were severely injured in the crash, which involved at least 133 cars. Six people died. The drivers are asking for $1 million in damages against five transportation companies: Fed Ex, GG’s Produce Transport, JB Hunt, Rich Logistics, and GO2 Logistics. The lawsuit also lists the company drivers, referred to as John Does 1-6, as defendants.

The companies did not immediately respond to request to comment.

According to the federal suit, which was filed in Hidalgo County district court, Mark Patel, Halee Escamilla and Angela Childeress were involved in the crash on the icy TEXPress lanes.

“Our clients have received serious injuries from multiple impacts, including head injuries and being partially crushed, and they are receiving treatment and getting medical evaluations currently,” attorney Adam Lewis with Arnold & Itkin law firm said.

The lawsuit accuses the drivers and the companies they work for of negligence. The drivers were driving too fast, and failed to take the road conditions into account, according to the lawsuit, partially leading to the “catastrophic accident.” The companies failed to properly train their drivers, the lawsuit alleges.

“A catastrophic collision like the February 11th disaster will have multiple contributing factors,” Lewis said in a statement. “By filing a civil lawsuit, the victims have the ability to conduct their own investigation, get answers as to why this preventable incident occurred and achieve justice.”

The lawsuit also accuses the transportation companies of negligent hiring and supervision.

The pileup started soon after 6 a.m. The roads were covered by what appeared to be a sheet of ice. On the morning of the wreck, surface temperatures were below freezing and weather radar showed a small cloud of freezing rain moving across the I-35W corridor near the Fort Worth Stockyards.

Following the crash, Texas lawmakers called for an investigation that includes how the roads were treated to prevent freezing.

The National Transportation Safety Board, an independent federal agency that reviews transportation accidents, is investigating the crash, focusing on snow and ice treatment procedures.