Suit filed over fatal wreck on Gulf Freeway

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Jan. 2, 2012, 1:00pm


GALVESTON - New Caney resident Tommie Bennight has filed suit against Friendswood local Mitchell Childress and Farm Bureau County Mutual Insurance Company of Texas over a fatal auto accident on the Gulf Freeway.

A lawsuit filed Dec. 7 in Galveston County District Court insists Childress caused the May 30 wreck and alleges Texas Farm Bureau failed to properly cover Bennight in the wake of the crash.

Court papers show Bennight was traveling southbound in the right lane of the Gulf Freeway while Childress was driving in the center lane when he reportedly made an unsafe lane change and crashed into Bennight's vehicle.

The crash's impact caused Bennight's vehicle "to roll over several times."

"The plaintiff's car came to rest upside down facing east on an entrance ramp," the original petition says.

"The plaintiff had to crawl out of the upside down vehicle through the broken windshield, only to discover two of her friends were severely injured and a third had been killed."

Bennight adds she "received no warnings prior to the crash and was without fault when Mitchell Childress collided with the vehicle the plaintiff was driving."

The suit further explains that Childress's insurance carrier "paid out claims and only had $2,500 remaining to cover the plaintiff's damages, which was insufficient to cover plaintiff Tommie Bennight's actual damages."

The information was provided to Texas Farm Bureau, which supposedly interpleaded its policy limits of $60,000 under the uninsured/underinsured motorist provisions of the coverage policy issued to the plaintiff's parents, but the insurer non-suited its action "without good cause or justification," the complaint states.

Attorney Daniel D. Horowitz III of Houston is representing Bennight, and Galveston County 212th District Court Judge Susan Criss is presiding over the case.

Case No. 11-cv-1967

More News