On March 29, 13 members of the First Baptist Church of New Braunfels were killed when a truck collided with the bus they were riding in Uvalde County. Only one individual from the bus was hospitalized in critical condition and survived the crash. The 20-year-old driver of the truck was also injured and survived. While the exact cause of the collision is being investigated, there are reports that the young driver of the pickup truck was on prescription medication that could affect his faculties and was texting immediately prior to the crash. An affidavit from the driver uncovered he had taken Clonazepam, Ambien, and Lexapro prior to the accident and he admitted to being distracted by his cell phone. Considering the nature of the accident and its consequences, it is not surprising that a wrongful death suit has already been filed.
Wrongful Death Suit Following the New Braunfels’ Church Bus Crash
The son of one of the bus crash victims filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the truck driver in mid-April. The lawsuit alleges the driver’s negligence and gross negligence due to consuming prescription medications, smoking marijuana, texting while driving, and failing to control his vehicle resulted in the accident that caused a wrongful death. The lawsuit also names the truck driver’s father as a negligent party, stating there is evidence he was aware of his son’s drug abuse and dangerous habit of texting while driving. Due to the driver and his father’s negligent behavior, the plaintiff is seeking $1 million in damages.
An Unusual Aspect to the Wrongful Death Claim
Included within the wrongful death lawsuit is a unique appeal to the Texas legislature to enact legislation to ban texting while driving entirely. As of right now, drivers on their learner’s permits are prohibited from using handheld cell phones at all during their first six months of driving and drivers under 18 are prohibited from using wireless communication devices. Additionally, all drivers are banned from using handheld devices or texting in school zones. However, there is no statewide texting-while-driving ban yet.
Will Texas Ban Texting While Driving?
The state may be closer to a ban though. The Texas House of Representatives passed a bill that would ban texting while driving. It is now in the Senate, where it may or may not pass. Bills like this have died in the legislature before and only one made it Gov. Rick Perry’s desk where it was vetoed. While many Texas residents are in favor of a ban, others believe adult behavior should not be too closely regulated by the government. The plea from this plaintiff and other members of the New Braunfels community affected by the bus crash tragedy may swing more politicians in favor of an outright texting-while-driving ban.
Contact a New Braunfels Wrongful Death Attorney for Help
While texting while driving may not be a crime in Texas, it can still be evidence that a driver was negligent behind the wheel. Distracted driving is serious and leads to many traffic accidents, injuries, and fatalities every year. If you lost a loved one due to someone else’s texting while driving, call the experienced New Braunfels wrongful death attorneys of The Bettersworth Law Firm right away. We can explain your legal options and if you wish to move forward in the courts, we are here to represent you.