AUSTIN (KXAN) — Two additional lawsuits were filed this week pertaining to the April 8 crash on Barton Springs Road that sent nine people to the hospital.
At this point, police have not announced any criminal charges or the possibility of criminal charges. Investigators also have not released further information about the crash since the day it happened.
According to a police report obtained by various attorneys, the driver of a pickup truck admitted to driving between 50-60 miles per hour down Barton Springs Road – which has a speed limit of 35 miles per hour – before striking a sedan in the intersection between Chuy’s and the Holla Mode food truck.
KXAN is not naming the drivers in this article because no charges have been brought against them.
“Whether criminal charges end up being brought this case goes forward so we can bring some change, and we can make it safer for people down there visiting that district,” said Lance Milne, one of the attorneys representing a group of plaintiffs who were in town for a Deaf convention.
One of those plaintiffs is Dana Stoddard.
“It became like a war zone. People were on the ground. There was blood everywhere,” he said, through certified interpreter Diane Blastic. “I had a fracture in my back. I went to the hospital where I stayed for five days. I was in a body brace for about six weeks.”
Stoddard and his fellow plaintiffs are suing the drivers, Bird Scooters, and the food truck and property owner for negligence.
“If you look across the street at Chuy’s,” said Alan Mortensen, another attorney on the case, “they have these pedestrian posts, so that if a car were to come flying in, these posts would allow it not to hit pedestrians. Similar posts should have gone in front of the ice cream truck.”
KXAN has been in touch with the owner of the food truck, but have not received a comment from him. It is important to note that the city does not require barricades to be outside of the truck.
The suit names both of the drivers, claiming that they did not use proper care behind the wheel to avoid a dangerous situation.
The allegations against Bird claim the company “allowed scooters to be dropped in locations where they could become missiles if struck by other vehicles.”
A spokesperson for Bird said the incident wasn’t Bird’s or any rider’s fault, and there’s no indication the scooters were parked improperly. The spokesperson also provided the following statement.
“Our thoughts are with those injured and while Bird was not responsible, we hope they have access to the care and support they need. The incident did not involve any Bird rider and our vehicles were struck as a result of this incident, as stated in the police report.“Bird Spokesperson
According to the city, scooters can be parked on the sidewalk as long as there is at least a three-foot walking zone for pedestrians. Police have not said anything at this point about improper placement of scooters.
This wasn’t the only lawsuit filed this week. The driver of the sedan also sued the driver of the pickup truck. According to the police report, in addition to admitting to speeding – the driver of the pickup truck was also cited by APD for violating his license restriction that required a licensed driver at least 21 years old needed to be in the front seat.
KXAN reached out to the sedan driver’s attorney, but we have not heard back.
Another victim filed a lawsuit against both of the drivers in April.
When we covered the first lawsuit, we spoke with a legal expert – former law enforcement officer and former Travis County Assistant District Attorney Kevin Madison – about his insight into the potential for criminal charges to emerge in this case.
“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 told KXAN in April. “In most counties in Texas, rarely do they file criminal negligence charges against drivers, although they could.”