A lawsuit alleging that CRST has a “history of malicious misconduct in hiring, investigating and retaining its employees” is seeking hundreds of millions of dollars worth of damages following a head-on crash that injured two people in 2014.
According to the suit, the crash involving brothers Matthew and Michael Lennig took place on July 7 of 2014 near Red Rock Canyon in California: “As the Lennig’s traveled north on SR-14, they approached a construction zone near Red Rock Canyon. The Red Rock Canyon Bridge project narrowed four lanes of traffic down to two, separated only by orange traffic cones. Entering the bridge project, a CRST big rig, driven by Hector Contreras, crossed the orange traffic cones and struck the Lennig’s head-on at speeds in excess of 55mph.”
The suit alleges that both brothers suffered serious injuries in the crash: “Michael, a California Highway Patrol officer, shattered two vertebrae and sustained a traumatic brain injury.”
According to the lawsuit, Contreras was intoxicated at the time of the crash.
Attorney Khail Parris representing the plaintiffs claims that CRST “failed to perform an adequate background check on Hector Contreras, failed to follow their own policies, and failed to pull Contreras off of the road following numerous accidents before the July collision.”
Parris stated, “CRST driver Hector Contreras has a long list of prior convictions ranging from driving under the influence, possession of drug paraphernalia, and felony grand theft auto. CRST had also been alerted by his co-driver that Hector Contreras posed a danger to the public at large. Hector Contreras should have never been on the road, especially in an 8-ton big rig truck.”
The suit alleges that Contreras caused four preventable collisions prior to the Red Rock Canyon Bridge Crash. It also claims that CRST was notified just three days before the crash via electronic control module that Contreras was driving at speeds of 99 m.p.h. and failed to terminate him or to require him to take a defensive driving course.