AUSTIN (KXAN) — A woman who was injured when a gravel truck ran into her car a few weeks ago on Ranch to Market 2222 in West Austin is suing the the driver of the truck as well as the trucking company.
Filed on Thursday, the lawsuit claims the plaintiff, Delaney Nelson, suffered “life-altering injuries” in the collision with the Franco’s Trucking company truck and that the company’s hiring process was “negligent” when it hired Codie Korn as a driver.
“Glass was embedded in her face and ears and she has also had significant spinal issues,” said Nelson’s attorney Justin McMinn.
Nelson, a 19-year-old Concordia student, was traveling eastbound on RM 2222 on Feb. 26 and going through the intersection at Jester Boulevard when her car was t-boned by the gravel truck. The lawsuit claims Korn was traveling southbound on Jester Boulevard when his “vehicle began to bounce and he was forced to pull over to the side of the road” but he later continued down Jester Boulevard where he crashed into a Honda waiting at the light and then ran into Nelson’s vehicle plus a third passenger car. A crash report indicates as Korn was going down Jester Boulevard, he was unable to stop due to possible brake failure.
The lawsuit claims Korn failed to keep a proper lookout, failed to maintain proper control of the vehicle and operated his vehicle in an unsafe manner. The lawsuit says Franco’s Trucking was negligent because the company hired a “twice-convicted felon” and that Korn had “prior driving related convictions for driving under the influence,” among other things. Korn’s criminal record includes convictions in Idaho for battery, but the driving infractions like DUI and driving without a valid license concern McMinn the most.
“Bottom line is that truck should not have been on the road and that driver should not have been driving that vehicle.”
Records from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration show Franco’s Trucking had 20 violations in the past two years and one crash in 2015. Some of those violations include inoperative head lamps, tail lamp, turn signal, operating a commercial motor vehicle without proof of a periodic inspection, oil and or grease leak. None of the violations were labeled as “acute-critical violations” which require immediate attention. The truck involved in the crash received violations in August 2015 for inoperable lamps and turn signals and again for the same reasons two months later.
“This case is about community safety,” said McMinn. “If you are going to be a business in our community and if you are going to use commercial trucks on our roads, there are safety rules you have to follow.”
KXAN attempted to contact the parties named in the lawsuit on Thursday but was unsuccessful.