Bowie County woman sues after witnessing cousin’s death in collision on I-30

By Michelle Keahey, East Texas Bureau | Jun 14, 2013

TEXARKANA - After witnessing the death of her cousin in a motor vehicle accident, Autum Davis Steinhilber filed a lawsuit against Drive Logistics Ltd. and Marc Normand Simard on June 12 in the Eastern District of Texas, Texarkana Division.

Court papers say the crash occurred on Aug. 19, 2011, in Bowie County when defendant Simard was driving a 2007 Columbia Freightliner tractor eastbound on Interstate Highway 30. 

According to the lawsuit, Simard reached to the floorboard of the tractor to retrieve a cellphone and was unable to see a vehicle that was stopped in the roadway because it had struck a barricade. Defendant Simard struck the vehicle and initiated a crash sequence that resulted in the death of Tommie Ashtyn Roden, the suit alleges.

Plaintiff Steinhilber and Roden were passengers in a third vehicle that was driven to the scene to assist those in the car that had struck the barricade. The plaintiff's vehicle was parked beyond the crashed vehicle and its hazards lights were activated.

Roden was outside of the vehicle when she was struck and killed by Simard's truck.

Steinhilber states she witnessed her cousin’s injuries and death and is seeking an award of bystander damages for medical care, mental anguish, interest and court costs.

Steinhilber is represented by John Flood of Flood & Flood in Corpus Christi. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Michael H. Schneider is assigned to the case.

Case No. 5:13-cv-00070

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