RUSK COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - A Central Texas man, whose wife and two children were killed in a fatal crash on July 10, is suing the driver of the car that hit them and three other East Texas businesses, according to paperwork.
Ketanbhai Kanjibhai Patel has filed suit against Shelby Taylor, Eaton Oil Tools, Audrey D. Amos and The Brewery Social Club, and Rainbow Members Club. The suit explains that Taylor became intoxicated while drinking alcoholic beverages at clubs owned by The Brewery and Rainbow Members Club on the night of July 10. The suit goes on to say that Taylor then drove a Ford F-350 truck owned by defendant, Eaton Oil Tools, ultimately colliding with the Patel's van.
"We feel very strongly that the allegations that we've made in the petition and the amended petition, that's all parties, we have plenty of evidence to prove the allegations that we made," Randy Akin, the Patel's attorney, said.
The wreck happened on Highway 259 in Rusk County near Kilgore. Police say Taylor was driving the wrong way on the highway she hit the Patel's car head on. Ketanbhai Patel, the father, survived the crash, but his wife, Heena Patel and their two children, 6-year-old Ryera Patel and 12-year-old Trish Patel, were killed. The suit explains that the family was traveling to Tennessee to visit their oldest daughter, Twinkle Patel. Twinkle Patel is also listed as a plaintiff on the suit.
"You are really representing the community down in Houston. It's a community of a lot of people that you have to go through and talk to because the East Indian culture, they protect each other and so it was almost a community effort and community decision," Akin explained.
The paperwork states that Eaton Oil Tools negligently entrusted the Ford F-350 to Taylor, even though she had a "sordid criminal history, bad personal habits, and a pending DWI." Taylor implied that she had been given permission to drive the Ford F-350 owned by Eaton Oil Tools. It claims Eaton Oil Tools should have known that Taylor posed a danger to the general public if allowed to drive a vehicle. Taylor was employed by Eaton Oil Tools at the time of the collision.
"There's no doubt it's a statement case. A statement on drunk driving and alleged drunk driving and the bad things that can happen," Akin said.