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Jury finds Mor-Con not liable in wrongful death lawsuit of Tyler man

The jury has found Mor-Con not liable in the wrongful death lawsuit in connection to the death of Anthony “Tony” Cruz.
Published: Dec. 9, 2021 at 10:47 AM CST|Updated: Dec. 9, 2021 at 7:21 PM CST
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - UPDATE: The jury has found Mor-Con not liable in the wrongful death lawsuit in connection to the death of Anthony “Tony” Cruz.

During Day 3 of the jury trial in the wrongful death lawsuit in connection with the death of a Tyler man, attorneys for the family of Anthony “Tony” Cruz called members of the fitness center owner’s family to the stand.

The case is a civil suit involving the family of Anthony “Tony” Cruz, the former owner of XTC fitness in Tyler. Cruz died in December 2018 when a tree fell on Smith County Road 1125. Cruz crashed into the tree on his motorcycle.

The suit is against Mor-Con, a contracting company that was doing work for Southern Utilities when the tree fell in the road.

At 9:07 a.m., Marty Young, one of the attorneys for the Cruz family called Corey Cruz, Tony’s son, to the stand and shared pictures of Corey’s children. Corey Cruz told the jury that he was able to tell his father that he was going to be a grandparent one week before he died.

Corey Cruz said his father never got a chance to meet his grandchildren.

Young shared pictures of Tony and Cruz playing tennis, and Corey Cruz talked about his relationship with his father and his dad’s involvement in his education and career.

During his testimony, Cory Cruz showed the jury the tattoo on his forearm, one of the last letters his father wrote to him. In the letter, Tony Cruz wrote things like, “Keep it strong,” “make it believable,” and ‘You have done me proud.”

There were no questions from the defense.

Later, Young called Rosalina Cedellio Cruz, Tony’s 88-year-old mother to the stand. She talked about their family dynamic and said that Tony was the “missing link” of the family.

Young also called Caroline “Cici” Cruz, Tony Cruz’s daughter, to the stand.

Now 20, Caroline Cruz was 17 when her father died. She told the jury her dad didn’t get to see her graduate from high school and said she went to college on a volleyball scholarship. She testified that she left college in a year because she “lost the love and passion to play volleyball,” something she once loved to do with her father.

The attorneys for the Cruz family shared pictures of Caroline Cruz with her father, and she shared her fondest memories.

Caroline Cruz said Corey, her brother, stepped up to take the father role in her life after her dad’s death.

“He’s my brother. He’s not supposed to be my father,” Caroline Cruz said. “It’s affected me in more ways than I know. I’m lost and broken.”

Caroline Cruz shared a picture of her tattoo of magnolia flowers. She told the jury that a family friend gave them a magnolia tree, and they planted it where they put her father’s ashes.

Tony Cruz’s daughter testified that her tattoo is “a reminder of what he was to me.”

Previous stories: Attorneys question whether backhoe strike was responsible for death of Tyler man on motorcycle

Trial begins in wrongful death lawsuit for Tyler man killed in motorcycle collision with tree

Community remembers well-known East Texas business owner Tony Cruz

DPS: One person dies in motorcycle crash in Smith County

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