AUSTIN (KXAN) — One of the 11 people injured after a collision April 8 on Barton Springs Road has filed a lawsuit against both drivers involved.
Brad Bonilla, an attorney representing Jesus Moncada, said he’s “disappointed that no criminal charges have been filed yet,” and that a “lack of criminal prosecution/tickets is a driving factor for dangerous roads.”
Named as defendants in the lawsuit are Pablo Vargas Castro and Bryan Dodson. Austin Police have not identified the pair as drivers as of Thursday morning.
According to the lawsuit, Castro was driving a 2015 Ford F-350 when he collided with a 2009 Toyota Scion, driven by Bryan Dodson. The force of the collision pushed both cars into a group of people getting ice cream at a food truck on Barton Spring Road. Moncada was one of the people injured and taken to a hospital for treatment.
The Austin Police Department has not released any details about the crash since the night it happened, so we have not been made aware of any charges. As the department continues to investigate, we asked former Travis County Assistant District Attorney Kevin Madison about his experience in these situations.
“Travis County has never had a history of many criminal charges such as criminal negligence, which would be the only charge that could arise out of this,” he said. “In most counties in Texas, rarely do they file criminal negligence charges against drivers, although they could.”
Moncada, 65, spoke with KXAN days after the crash and said he needed five stitches in his head. He has to go back to the hospital for a follow-up appointment to make sure there’s no internal bleeding.
The lawsuit said both Castro and Dodson were in violation of Texas law — Castro by admitting he was speeding down Barton Springs Road, traveling 50-60 mph in a 35 mph zone, and Dodson by not yielding the right-of-way to oncoming traffic when turning left on to Sterzing Street. The crash report also said Castro admitted to speeding down the road and Dodson, “paused in the roadway for an unknown reason,” before the collision.
The lawsuit goes on to say both drivers were negligent due to their violations.
The lawsuit is asking for at least $250,000 in damages and citations to be given to Castro for speeding and to Dodson for failure to yield the right-of-way. The crash report said Castro was cited only for violating a Texas driver’s license “B” restriction, meaning someone 21 years old or older had to be in the front seat while he was driving. Castro, 20, didn’t have a full license, according to the crash report.
Bonilla said he also hopes City of Austin officials will “take a second look at how close food trucks are allowed to the road, because this type of incident is foreseeable and, unfortunately, will likely happen again.”
“When criminal charges are not pursued it is the sole means for holding wrongdoers accountable and is important to set a high price to deter future conduct,” Bonilla said.
KXAN reached out to Austin Police for an update on the case. APD said there is no update as of Thursday morning.
The Holla Mode Food truck was back open Thursday night.