$35M won’t bring Andrew Mayfield back

The SE Texas Record Dec. 16, 2013, 4:20pm

The problem with clichés is that the truth they convey has lost its impact from constant repetition. 

“You can’t take it with you,” for instance -- a pithy, compelling observation that communicates a profound truth -- now hardly registers at all. How many times have we heard that cliché, or said it ourselves, and yet we remain absorbed in accumulating wealth and material goods for the benefit of heirs and tax collectors?

How about that other idiom: “Money won’t bring a loved one back”?

It’s still as true as ever, but who today is persuaded by it?

Pursuing justice is one thing. The person responsible for the untimely passing of another probably should be held accountable. Vengeance or greedy exploitation of tragedy is something else.

Revenge and money may have appeal to some, but engaging in one and acquiring the other will not lead to reanimation of the departed. Corny or not, it’s true.

Andrew Mayfield was a Rusk County truck driver killed two years ago when the Mack truck he was driving was hit head-on by a vehicle that crossed into his lane.

Last month, two years after the fatal accident, family members filed suit in Harrison County District Court against the two men in the vehicle that struck Mayfield – as well as against the trucking company Mayfield drove for, and Mack Trucks Inc. They’re seeking $15 million dollars in damages, plus $20 million more in punitive damages.

Why are they suing Mack Trucks? Presumably, because the driver responsible for the fatal accident has few assets. Which calls to mind another cliché: “You can’t squeeze blood from a turnip.”

Blaming the wrong people for a tragic accident is wrong. Doing it for money would be worse.

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