BEAUMONT – The Ferguson Law Firm is representing a couple in a lawsuit that had a “front row seat” for the “carnage” that ensued following a multi-vehicle collision last September.
Seeking more than $1 million in damages, Charles and Elizabeth Keel filed suit in Jefferson County District Court against YRC Worldwide, Timothy Poppen, Texas Department of Transportation and Williams Brothers Construction.
“In the early morning hours of September 20, 2018, a multi-vehicle collision occurred in Beaumont, Jefferson County, Texas on west-bound Interstate 10,” the suit states. “That collision was violent, catastrophic and tragic.”
According to the suit, Poppen was operating a tractor-trailers unit owned by his employer, YRC, traveling west on I-10. Ahead of him, traffic on I-10 had safely and prudently come to a stop due to a prior accident involving a fatality in a road construction zone.
“That road construction zone, dangerous and unsafe (and the result of the implementation of an inadequate traffic control plan), had been created by Defendants TxDOT and WILLIAMS BROTHERS, and had caused the initial crash that led to traffic being stopped on Interstate 10 that morning,” the suit states.
The last vehicle stopped in that traffic was a 2016 Kia Sorrento, which Poppen slammed into, shoving it forward as the 18-wheeler plowed through it and causing the multi-vehicle collision, according to the suit.
The Keels were in a pickup truck that became entangled with both the Kia Sorrento and YRC tractor-trailer.
“During this sequence, the Kia Sorrento and the tractor of the YRC 18-wheeler burst into flames, causing both vehicles to be substantially burned and destroyed,” the suit states. “The occupants of the Kia Sorrento became engulfed in flames, screaming in pain and pleading for help.
“CHARLES KEEL attempted to remove as many occupants from the burning vehicle as he could. Both CHARLES KEEL and his wife, ELIZABETH KEEL had a front-row seat to that carnage.”
In stark contrast, Poppen was able to exit his tractor and was noted on the Texas Peace Officer Crash Report as having no injuries, according to the suit.
On top of punitive damages, the Keels are suing for their past and future pain, mental aguish, impairment, medical expenses and impairment.
They are represented by Paul “Chip” Ferguson Jr., Cody Dishon and Tim Ferguson.