A Fort Worth woman has filed a lawsuit against the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT), trucking companies, and several other companies and agencies following a massive February 2021 pileup crash that killed her husband.
The lawsuit was filed in the Tarrant County District Court on July 6 by Jane Watson and her adult son Cameron Watson, who lost husband and father Aaron Watson in the crash, according to a news release from the law firm representing Jane Watson.
Warning: This video of the I-35 pileup is hard to watch. It made my heart flutter and all I can think about is the families of the loved ones lost today. #I35Pileup #txwx #FtWorth pic.twitter.com/3Jbd2nOuIE
— Kelly Anne Beile (@KellyAnneTV) February 11, 2021
Aaron Watson was one of six people who died in the February 11 crash that occurred on southbound I-35W in Forth Worth. The pileup involved 133 passenger and commercial vehicles and occurred as freezing rain and sleet made the active lanes of traffic slick. Dozens of people were injured and transported to hospitals for treatment.
The lawsuit claims that TXDOT along with other private and public agencies responsible for roadway maintenance “failed to monitor and maintain the highway, failed to discover hazards or defects on the roadway, failed to de-ice and close the highway because of the conditions, and failed to monitor the weather.”
The lawsuit specifically points to a warning about icy road conditions that was posted three miles from the crash site on a NTE Mobility sign.
The suit also names both commercial trucking companies and individual truck drivers, who are accused of “failing to pay attention and maintain safe speeds, as well as failing to operate vehicles in a safe manner and failing to properly train driver employees.”
“This tragedy was 100 percent preventable had all of the parties named in this lawsuit done their part,” said Provost Umphrey Law Firm attorney J. Keith Hyde. “We should not be here today.”
A preliminary National Transporation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation into the crash noted that the interstate had been treated with a brine solution on February 9 and that the agency would conduct “a focused investigation to examine the road treatment strategies used to address the freezing conditions.”