A Jefferson County woman has filed suit against the driver she claims was operating a truck when a wheel flew off the vehicle and struck the front of the woman's car.

Rowonda Jones claims she was driving to work on Interstate 10 in Beaumont on Dec. 29 when a wheel came off a truck driven by defendant Tracy Balkcom and owned by defendant HHE Express. The wheel struck the front of Jones's vehicle, according to the complaint filed Feb. 14 in Jefferson County District Court.

Because of the incident, Jones suffered injuries to her head, neck, back and spine; incurred medical costs; and experienced mental anguish, physical pain, suffering, disability and physical impairment, the suit states. In addition, she lost her earning capacity, the complaint says.

She partially blames Balkcom for causing her injuries, saying Balkcom negligently drove too fast, failed to inspect his truck, continued to drive after problems with his wheel and failed to properly maintain his truck.

Jones also names HHE as a defendant, saying it negligently failed to maintain its vehicle; failed to inspect its vehicle; and engaged in negligent training, supervision, entrustment and hiring.

At the time of the accident, Jones had an insurance policy through defendant Farmers Texas County Mutual Insurance Company, which should have provided benefits under an under-insured motorist provision.

In addition to those benefits, Jones is seeking damages in excess of the minimum jurisdictional limits of Jefferson County District Court, plus costs, pre- and post-judgment interest and other relief the court deems just.

Clay Dugas and Mike JacobEllis of Beaumont will be representing her.

Case No. E191-952

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