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$9.5M awarded in semi-truck crash; driver still has commercial license

Posted on Nov 13, 2014

SAN ANTONIO -- Attorney Wyatt Wright said his clients who survived a wreck with a semi-truck in 2012 are still recovering. The driver of the 18-wheeler is still on the road, despite having several DWI convictions.

The lawsuit brought against the truck driver included another driver who was also hit by the trailer truck. Attorneys in the case won a whopping $9.5 million for their clients.

The wreck happened last March in Victoria, Texas. The Armando Olachia family was headed to a soccer game when their vehicle was rear-ended at a stop light. Everyone in the family was hurt, according to Wright.

Johnny Raymond Rodriguez, 56, was working for A.W. Trucking. The report said Rodriguez was speeding and had been drinking when the crash occurred. Reports indicate his blood alcohol level was at .071 and .065 three hours after the accident.

Rodriguez had several prior DWI convictions, leaving attorney's stumped on how Rodriguez acquired a commercial driver's license in the first place.

Who in the world would let somebody like that drive for you, Wright questioned. That's disturbing. Anybody who places a heavy truck on the road -- where it can come into contact with other folks -- and is aware of the type of behavior and doesn't monitor it strictly, they ought to be ashamed of themselves.

Wright suggested some trucking companies are having trouble finding drivers; therefore, the hiring agents take filling the job lightly.

(Rodriguez) still has a commercial driver's license. And that of course means that the public is placed at continued risk from this driver, Wright explained.

The Department of Public Transportation monitors trailer-truck drivers and said more state troopers are on the road in counties affected by the Eagle Ford Shale formation.