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18-Wheeler Turned Left Into EXIT at Truckstop, Hit Car
At about 9:30 a.m. on May 14, 2006, plaintiff David Aguilar was driving a four-door subcompact sedan going northbound on U.S. Highway 77, near a truckstop in Riviera in Kleberg County. Aguilar’s mother, Maria Carreon, was seated next to him, and his son Andrew was in the back seat. Aguilar was three-tenths of a mile north of Texas Highway 285, when Pilar Navarro, driving an 18-wheeler southbound on U.S. 77, attempted to turn left into the truckstop. The 18-wheeler turned directly into the Aguilar’s path, causing a massive front end collision between the two vehicles.
Aguilar and his passengers alleged negligence against Navarro and his employer, a local south Texas transport company, in that Navarro failed to yield the right of way and tried to turn into the truckstop at an exit-only driveway. A large red sign at the driveway read “Truck Exit.”
Investigating the crash, Texas DPS state troopers found that Navarro failed to yield the right of way to the Does. Navarro attempted to claim that an 18- wheeler pulling out of the truckstop obscured his view of the Aguilar’s vehicle, although no witnesses could corroborate his story.
Tony Denena of Denena & Points, P.C., was contacted by the family almost immediately. He traveled to the scene and documented it the day after the crash and interviewed several key witnesses to assist in assessing fault.
Aguilar and Carreon had to be removed from their vehicle by the jaws of life. Each faced life-threatening injuries. Carreon was rushed to Christus Spohn hospital in Corpus Christi. Aguilar was lifeflighted to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston as his injuries were initially believed to be more serious than Carreon’s.
Carreon suffered open fractures of her left arm, and both legs, which required open reduction and internal fixation surgeries to repair. An external fixator was required to repair her left arm fracture. She also suffered multiple fractured ribs. She required months of physical rehabilitation and will likely never regain full use of her left arm. Her past medical bills exceeded $170,000.00 and the cost of her future medical care is undetermined.
Aguilar suffered a fractured right leg, fractured right hip, and a fractured coccyx requiring months of rehabilitation. He underwent multiple surgeries to repair the fractures and has numerous plates and screws in his hip and lower right leg. His past medical bills exceeded $80,000.00.
Aguilar’s son suffered minor injuries. He was treated at the hospital and released, requiring no further medical care.
The case settled within five months of the crash for a confidential amount, and without filing suit.