Incarcerated woman claims injuries in collision

Kelly Holleran Nov. 29, 2014, 6:00pm

An incarcerated woman has filed suit against the allegedly intoxicated driver she claims struck the vehicle she was riding in, causing a serious collision.

Antoinette Cooksey filed suit July 18 in the Galveston County District Court against Sidney Joseph Kennerson Jr., Betty Thomas, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and MobilityWorks Commerical.

According to the complaint, Cooksey was riding in a 2010 Ford Econoline van Amanda Leigh Dewalt was driving south in the 2700 block of Interstate Highway 45 in the middle lane. Suddenly, defendant Kennerson, who was driving in the same direction, attempted to pass the van but struck the van instead, according to the complaint.

After the van was struck, it suddenly careened to the right and across the outside lane, shoulder and then across a grassy median before striking a highway sign, then across the freeway on the ramp and came to rest on a grassy area adjacent on the frontage road, the suit states.

Because of the collision, Cooksey incurred medical costs, experienced pain and suffering and endured physical impairment, the complaint says. She also claims she suffered mental anguish.

Following the accident, Kennerson was charged with DWI and reckless endangerment, the complaint says.

Cooksey blames Kennerson for causing the collision, saying he negligently failed to keep a proper lookout, failed to keep a proper distance, drove too fast and was intoxicated while driving.

She also names Thomas as a defendant for negligently entrusting her vehicle to Kennerson, who she should have known to be a reckless and incompetent driver. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice is also named as a defendant because it employed Dewalt at the time of the collision. Because Dewalt contributed to the collision by failing to keep a proper lookout and by properly evading Kennerson’s vehicle, the department is liable for Cooksey’s injuries, the suit states.

Cooksey seeks an unspecified judgment within the jurisdictional limits of the court, plus exemplary damages, pre-judgment interest at the maximum rate allowed by law, post-judgment interest at the legal rate, costs and other relief the court deems just. She is being represented by attorney David K. Sergi of San Marcos.

Galveston County District Court case number 14-cv-768.

This is a report on a civil lawsuit filed at the Galveston County Circuit Court. The details in this report come from an original complaint filed by a plaintiff. Please note that a complaint represents an accusation by a private individual, not the government. It is not an indication of guilt, and it represents only one side of the story.

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