$15 Million Settlement Reached in Deadly Texas 18-Wheeler Crash

Wed Oct 22, 2008 11:56am EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

Truck crash attorney Frank L. Branson: Tractor-trailer a road hazard; driver
falsified logs

DALLAS, Oct. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Attorneys from The Law Offices of Frank L.
Branson in Dallas have reached a $15 million settlement with an Arizona
trucking company following an 18-wheeler crash near Colorado City, Texas, that
killed three family members and severely injured a fourth.
    The settlement was reached Oct. 21 during jury selection before Judge Mark
Greenberg of Dallas County Court No. 5.  Dallas attorney Frank L. Branson
represented the family of Casey Tyrone Baxter along with firm attorneys Debbie
Dudley Branson, Michael G. Guajardo and Thomas J. Farmer.
    The lawsuit charged that Phoenix-based Swift Transportation Co. Inc. was
responsible when its driver, Douglas Spencer Waters, lost control of a
tractor-trailer and crossed over the median on Interstate 20, crashing into an
oncoming Chevrolet Trailblazer carrying three generations of a Texas family.
    Killed in the crash were 30-year-old Casey Tyrone Baxter, his 9-year-old
daughter Jaleigha Tatiana Williams and Ms. Williams' 49-year-old mother Sue
Pratt Williams. Mr. Baxter's wife, 28-year-old Joanna Sue Williams, suffered
severe injuries in the crash.
    In the truck crash lawsuit, Mr. Branson charged that Swift was negligent
for failing to adequately maintain the tractor-trailer and for failing to spot
Mr. Waters' falsified driving logs, among other claims. Experts were prepared
to testify that the truck's left front wheel was worn and a front-end
alignment problem caused the steering wheel to shake. Experts also found that
Mr. Waters had falsified his driver's log. Swift, a privately owned company,
operates the largest trucking fleet in the United States.
    "We subsidize trucking companies by allowing them to use public roads.
These trucks owe us an obligation to make our safety their top priority," Mr.
Branson says. "In one instant, this family suffered a devastating tragedy from
which it will never recover."
    The wreck occurred before dawn on April 10, 2007, as Mr. Baxter was
driving eastbound on Interstate 20 near Colorado City. Mr. Waters and a
co-driver were traveling westbound when the tractor-trailer crossed the median
and struck the family's SUV. Evidence in the case showed that Mr. Waters was
traveling in rainy conditions at 66 miles per hour when he lost control of the
truck. The lawsuit charged Swift and Mr. Waters with negligence and gross
negligence for the manner in which Mr. Waters was operating the truck and the
truck's poor maintenance at the time of the wreck.
    The Law Offices of Frank L. Branson handles civil cases for a wide variety
of clients, whether they have been seriously injured through the negligence of
a truck driver, a commercial air carrier or during a construction accident.
The firm also represents the victims of dangerous consumer products and
clients in business tort cases. To learn more about Mr. Branson and his firm,
visit http://www.flbranson.com.
     For more information, please contact Robert Tharp at 800-559-4534 or
Robert@androvett.com.
SOURCE  The Law Offices of Frank L. Branson

Robert Tharp, 1-800-559-4534, Robert@androvett.com, for The Law Offices of
Frank L. Branson
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