Family suing for more than $1 million after July fatal crash

Family suing for more than $1 million after July fatal crash

LUBBOCK COUNTY, TX (KCBD) - A lawsuit has been filed against TxDOT, Helena Chemical Company, and Wesley Wright after H.V. Newman was killed in a crash on July 27.

His vehicle was t-boned by a truck driven by Helena Chemical Company employee Wesley Wright. The crash happened at the intersection of FM 179 and FM 2641, where the lawsuit claims TxDOT removed a stop sign and failed to put up a temporary stop sign.

The family says the reason for the lawsuit is because they are looking for answers.

"I just want to know what happened, I want somebody to be held accountable,"Jo Ann Newman, wife of H.V. Newman, said. "This man should be coming home, and he's just not going to."

In addition to Helena Chemical Company and Wright, plaintiffs are suing TxDOT for causing the crash. Wright was seriously injured in the crash.

The lawsuit alleges that Wright failed to use reasonable care when approaching the intersection. Furthermore, plaintiffs allege that at the time of the crash, TxDOT workers had removed the stop sign that was present at the intersection, and failed to put up a temporary stop sign.

"What we do know happened is we know the Helena driver drove through three advanced warning signs. He drove by a TXDOT truck with a flashing emergency light and he drove over a white stop bar and he never slowed down, he was going 63 miles an hour. We know that TXDOT took down a sign and didn't have a temporary sign up and didn't have any sign up there," Chad Inderman, attorney for the family, said.

Mr. Newman lived in Shallowater all his life, and was very familiar with the intersection where the wreck occurred.

"It was an intersection that he and I always approached with caution. The speed limit out there is 75, so we look, we're careful. My husband is an incredible driver," Jo Ann Newman said.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs said that this was a traffic fatality that could have easily been avoided.

"What you have is a driver who has all the indications of a hazard ahead, but didn't even slow down; and a TxDOT crew who took down a stop sign without any safety measures in place.  A great man was killed because Helena Chemical Company and TxDOT representatives chose to ignore obvious safety hazards," Inderman said.

The lawsuit states H.V. Newman did not know of the dangerous condition and could not have known of the missing stop sign because he was traveling on FM 179 and had the right-of-way.

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