July collision on Hwy 377 killed one teen, injured three other passengers
SHERMAN, Texas — Members of four Denton County families have filed a lawsuit against an oil and gas service company whose employee, driving an unregistered and unlicensed commercial truck, killed a 13-year old in a July 17 crash on U.S. Highway 377 in western Grayson County. The collision also seriously injured three other passengers, including two children.
According to the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Sherman, defendant Diamond Energy Services of Tulsa was negligent in allowing the company’s vehicle to be operated in violation of state and federal regulations.
The company’s driver, 34-year-old Christopher Downing of Medina County in south Texas, was under the influence of alcohol and narcotics at the time of the mid-afternoon crash near Collinsville, according to the filing. The lawsuit seeks compensation for the wrongful death of the teenager, who is not named in the lawsuit, and for the physical and mental injuries inflicted on all the passengers. Downing remains in Grayson County jail facing criminal charges of intoxication manslaughter and three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
“This is a tragedy that could have been avoided if the company had acted responsibly and within the law,” said attorney Tom Carse of The Carse Law Firm in Dallas, who represents the families and individuals injured in the crash. “By allowing a vehicle in that condition on the road, and a driver in that condition behind the wheel, this company has shattered the lives of everyone involved.”
According to the lawsuit, Downing was traveling south at approximately 2 p.m. when he lost control of the truck and collided with the northbound pickup being driven by plaintiff Luis Rios Guima. The other named plaintiffs, Erika Duarte and Juan de Dios Armas, Eida and Gaspar Guima, and Maria and Carlos Meza are the parents of the deceased and injured children.
The case is Duarte et al v. Diamond Energy Services L.P., Cause No. 4:19-cv-00605, filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.