According to a recent article in the San Antonio Express-News, Jose Beltran, his two young sons, and the pregnant mother of his sons were walking home after having dinner at the Flying J Travel Plaza when they were unexpectedly struck by a vehicle that hit a telephone pole, went up and over a curb, and onto the sidewalk where they were walking. The Beltrans had been celebrating Jose’s new job prospect after four long years of unemployment and financial hardship. Up until about a week prior to the accident, the family, down on their luck, had been living in an abandoned house in California. They had recently come to Texas to stay with Beltran’s mother and seek out better employment opportunities.
These hopes of a better life for their family were dashed to pieces by the fatal accident, which left Jose, 30, dead at the accident scene, and his son, Elias, age three, pronounced dead some hours later after being airlifted to a nearby hospital. Kristie Vergara, 34, and Adrian Beltran, age four, both were seriously injured and remained hospitalized in serious condition. Vergara’s unborn child also was expected to survive the accident.
The 37-year-old female driver of the vehicle allegedly gave conflicting stories to law enforcement authorities regarding the circumstances surrounding the accident, including whether she was using her phone at the time of the accident. Investigators stated that another driver had honked at the woman for lingering too long at a green light because she was talking on her cellphone just prior to the accident. As a result, police are requesting a subpoena of the woman’s cell phone records in order to determine whether her cell phone usage was a factor in the accident. There was no evidence that the woman was speeding, intoxicated, or had tried to brake prior to the accident.
This incident illustrates the dangers of distracted driving, whether it be from texting while driving, talking on a cell phone, or using a phone in another manner while driving. If it is determined that the driver that caused this accident was distracted by her cell phone usage at the time of the crash, she is likely to not only face criminal charges, but also to be civilly liable for the wrongful deaths of Beltran and his son, as well as the injuries sustained by Vergara and the older son.
If you or a loved one has sustained injuries in a distracted driving accident, or if you have lost an immediate family member to any kind of accident caused by another’s negligence, you may have a valid personal injury or wrongful death claim. Contact your Texas personal injury attorney today for a free initial consultation regarding any potential claims that you may have.