Suit claims truck driver made illegal turn, caused collision

By Kelly Holleran | May 6, 2009

A Smith County man has filed suit against a trucking company and one of its drivers, alleging he was seriously injured after an 18-wheeler hit his vehicle.

Dannie McLean was driving north on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Beaumont on Feb. 28, 2008, when a 2002 white Freightliner 18-wheeler driven by Patrick Kolek and owned by Red Tazz Express Delivery Co. made an illegal left-hand turn directly into McLean's path, according to the complaint filed May 4 in Jefferson County District Court.

Because of the accident, McLean suffered pain, mental anguish, loss of earning and earning capacity, physical impairment and disfigurement and incurred medical costs, the suit states.

McLean claims Kolek was negligent by failing to keep a proper lookout, by failing to yield the right-of-way to McLean's vehicle, by pulling out in front of his vehicle, by making a left turn out of an illegal lane of travel and by turning when it was unsafe to do so.

Because Red Tazz allowed Kolek to operate the vehicle, it was guilty of negligent entrustment, negligent hiring, retention and control and malice, according to the complaint.

McLean is seeking unspecified actual, punitive and exemplary damages, plus costs, pre- and post-judgment interest and other relief to which he may be entitled.

The case has been assigned to Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th District Court.

Jefferson County District Court case number: D183-958.

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