Truck driver says wreck due to Army not securing cargo

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Apr. 11, 2011, 12:00pm

After being involved in a rollover accident, a truck driver is suing the U.S. Army 842nd Transportation Battalion in Beaumont for failing to secure the military cargo he was transporting on his tractor trailer.

Lonnie Whiteside of Vidor filed suit against United States of America and the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command on March 30 in the Eastern District of Texas, Beaumont Division.

The incident occurred on April 6, 2009, when Whiteside, an employee of Redlac Enterprises, lost control of his tractor trailer, which was loaded with a military Hummer and military forklift. Whiteside states he was traveling north on Interstate 59 in Alabama when the forklift shifted causing the 18-wheeler to fishtail. The truck left the roadway on the northbound shoulder and overturned.

According to the lawsuit, it was later determined that the forklift was not properly secured by the 842nd Battalion in Beaumont, who loaded the military cargo for transport to Letterkenny Army Depot in Pennsylvania.

The defendants are accused of negligence for failing to ensure the qualified personnel were supervised during the loading of the forklift and failing to set the parking brake of the forklift once it was loaded.

The plaintiff is seeking damages for physical pain and mental anguish, loss of wages, disfigurement, physical impairment, medical expenses, interest and court costs.

Whiteside is represented by Mark A. Weycer and Bonnie R. Rogers of The Weycer Law Firm in Bellaire.

A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Marcia A. Crone is assigned to the case.

Case No. 1:11-cv-00154

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