Widow of TxDOT employee killed at work asks court to preserve evidence

Kelly Holleran Jul. 1, 2010, 6:00am

A Texas woman has filed an application for injunctive relief, asking the court to prevent trucking companies from destroying any evidence that may be used to determine the cause of an accident that took her husband's life.

Maria Granja claims her husband, Santos Granja, was killed on June 21 while performing work for the Texas Department of Transportation on Highway 73.

According to the complaint filed June 22 in Jefferson County District Court, defendant Sergio Munguia was driving a truck for defendants Best Transportation Services and Best Delivery when the tractor trailer collided into several vehicles performing work on the highway, causing Santos Granja's death.

The Beaumont Enterprise reported that Granja, 52, of Beaumont, was putting down reflective markers on Texas 73 near LaBelle Road when the driver of an 18-wheeler barrelled into two trucks that were following Granja's work crew.

A total of four vehicles were involved in the collision. Granja, who was riding on a trailer attached to the first truck in the convoy, was killed. A total of four employees on the convoy were injured and taken to the hospital

Maria Granja seeks a temporary injunction and restraining order preventing the defendants from destroying the truck's black box and associated records, including Munguia's driving log and trip records.

"If Plaintiff's application is not granted, harm is imminent because evidence of the cause of Plaintiff's damages and the party or parties responsible will be destroyed, removed, altered, or otherwise rendered unusable as evidence," the suit states. "The harm that will result if this temporary restraining order is not issued is irreparable because Plaintiff, without the evidence as it presently is found, will be unable to reconstruct and determine the cause of the accident and other contributing conditions."

In addition to the restraining order, Maria Granja wants the court to set a date to allow her and her attorneys to review images of the vehicles involved in the collision.

The application has been assigned to Judge Bob Wortham, 58th District Court.

Jefferson County District Court case number: A187-120.

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