BEAUMONT - The Ferguson Law Firm has obtained a temporary restraining order preserving all evidence related to a violent 18-wheeler crash outside of Albuquerque on Dec. 22.
Shayne Gotreaux, a Beaumont resident, sustained serve injuries in the crash and his passenger, John Paul O’Neal of Foley, Alabama, was killed. Managing Partner Paul ‘Chip’ Ferguson represents both Mr. Gotreaux and the family of Mr. O’Neal.
The crash occurred when an 18-wheeler being driven by Lucas Fodor fell asleep and crossed the median into oncoming west-bound traffic on Interstate 40, a firm press release states.
That 18-wheeler crashed into an 18-wheeler being driven by Mr. Gotreaux. New Mexico law enforcement at the scene determined that Fodor, a 47 year old California resident, was fatigued and may have fallen asleep.
Photo from crash site
Officials were also investigating Fodor’s use of Seroquel, a prescription antipsychotic drug. Those results are pending.
“This drug carries with it substantial warnings and instructions about taking it while driving,” Ferguson said. “The Department of Transportation is clear that this drug and driving do not mix. This crash proves that point.”
The temporary restraining order was signed by Judge Justin Sanderson of Jefferson County’s 60th Judicial District Court.
A hearing in the case was ordered by Judge Sanderson for Jan. 18 at 1:30 p.m. Judge Sanderson’s order prohibits the movement, alteration or destruction of any of the vehicles involved in the crash as well as a long list of various documents regarding the company and driver involved in the crash.
“Most times, these matters are agreed upon at the outset without the need for a formal hearing,” Ferguson said. “I would hope this is one of those times.”
Shayne Gotreaux, a 52 year old Beaumont resident, was hospitalized in New Mexico for nearly three weeks.
Ferguson described his injuries as “severe” and “life threatening”, noting that, “Shayne Gotreaux broke his neck, fractured his skull and had his internal organs torn to shreds.
“It is a miracle he survived. Unfortunately, the price for survival will probably be a lifetime of misery.”
The deceased, John Paul O’Neal, was a 60 year old resident of Alabama.
Ferguson, and his law firm, has a long history of success in litigating against commercial motor vehicles. Ferguson holds the national record for the highest verdict ever obtained in an 18-wheeler/side underride case.
“Once again, we find two families torn asunder because of a transportation company’s decision to sacrifice safety for speed,” Ferguson said. “It remains our mission at The Ferguson Law Firm to make these companies, and our roads, safer for all road users, not just the 18-wheelers.”
The case is B-201127 and is styled Gotreaux, et al vs. Just In Time Cargo, Inc., et al.