Family of man killed crossing Galveston street sues driver

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Apr. 24, 2012, 8:30am


GALVESTON - The family of a local man who died while crossing a Galveston street has filed a lawsuit against the alleged driver.

Recent court documents filed April 17 in Galveston County District Court show The Woodlands resident Tyler Reed Smith struck Bernardino Salinas with his pickup truck as Salinas moved along the crosswalk at the intersection of 39th Street and Broadway on Aug. 6, 2011.

Maria V. Salinas, the decedent's widow and the representative of his estate, and the couple's adult children, Mayra and Oscar Salinas, are plaintiffs in the case.

The city of Galveston joins Smith as a co-defendant, since it controls and maintains the area where the incident occurred.

According to the original petition, Salinas had almost reached the opposite side of the intersection, across Broadway, when he was struck with significant force.

"Mr. Salinas was thrown entirely across the intersection, several yards from impact, and landed in the next block, still alive but with deadly traumatic injuries," the suit says.

The plaintiffs claim the event occurred at 10:06 p.m. yet "the pedestrian traffic signals were not working" and "the traffic control signals were not synchronized correctly and were not within appropriate timing engineering."

Salinas was reportedly still alive after he was hit, but had suffered severe blunt trauma to his head and neck with a dislocation of his neck and a posterior fossa subarachnoid hemorrhage as well as blunt trauma to his chest and abdomen to which he succumbed despite prompt attention and transport to the nearest hospital, the suit says.

Smith is blamed for failing to keep a proper lookout, failing to timely apply his brakes, failing to yield the right of way, failing to make a safe left turn and failing to drive within the speed limit while the city is faulted for not taking appropriate action to ensure the intersection's safety.

A jury trial is requested.

Attorney Robert O'Conor Jr. of Houston is representing the plaintiffs.

Galveston County 56th District Court Judge Lonnie Cox is presiding over the case.

Case No. 12-cv-1083

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