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Friday, November 20, 2015

Truck driver charged in fatal bus crash that killed 4 NCTC softball players

Drug use was the primary cause of crash
Semi truck driver, Russell Staley, charged with four counts of first-degree manslaughter in a bus crash that killed four NCTC (North Central Texas College) athletes was likely high on synthetic drugs.

North Central Texas College Softball Players

Meagan Richardson, 19
Wylie, Texas
Katelynn Woodlee, 18
Windom, Texas
Jaiden Pelton, 20
Telephone, Texas
Brooke Deckard, 20
Scurry, Texas
Russell Staley, a Saginaw resident, told investigators after the September 26, 2014 crash that he was distracted by something in the truck’s main cabin before he veered across the Interstate 35 median and slammed into the team’s bus.

The NTSB(National Transportation Safety Board) concluded Staley’s drug use was the primary cause of the crash after looking at toxicology reports, his history of drug use and his behavior at the time of the collision, the NTSB said in a final report released today.

“The truck-tractor continued through the median, traveling over 1,100 feet without evidence of braking or steering,” the NTSB’s report states.

The board’s recommendations include: research on the substances drivers can consume and how much they can consume to avoid impairment; mandatory seat belt laws to including all passengers in all vehicles; more barriers on state medians to prevent crossover crashes.

At Miller Weisbrod, our clients are not statistics — they are real people in need of proactive, aggressive representation to defend their rights. We represent victims of truck accident injuries and wrongful death nationwide. We welcome the opportunity to apply our years of experience, skill and demonstrated ability to produce real results in difficult and complex cases involving: Truck driver error & carelessness, Fraudulent Logbooks, Truck Underride Accidents, Driver Fatigue.

Our Dallas truck accident attorneys are absolutely prepared to take on even the biggest trucking companies and commercial transportation operations across the United States. For more information, contact our offices in Dallas at 214.987.0005 to schedule an appointment.

We also represent clients nationwide. If you need legal advice anywhere outside the DFW Metroplex, please call us toll free at 888.987.0005. You may also contact us by e-mail now for prompt attention or to request an appointment.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Texas Oil Boom : Death Toll

Accidental deaths rising during Texas oil boom
Texas had half of the country's oil field deaths last year - 71 of the 142 workers who died in the hunt for hydrocarbons, new data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Texas Department of Insurance indicate.

In the five years between 2010 and 2014, 615 U.S. oil field workers died. Of those, 270, or 44%, were in Texas.

In Texas, workers have been hit by falling equipment, thrown, crushed, burned, electrocuted. They fell. They were scalded. They were run over. They were victims of human error and equipment failures.

Most of the accidents occurred in the heart of the Eagle Ford Shale, the 400-mile-long formation discovered in 2008. La Salle County had the most deaths - eight, including three workers in a single explosion last year, the region's most deadly catastrophe.

In San Antonio, north of the Eagle Ford, a worker was crushed when 3,500 pounds of sand for hydraulic fracturing, held in a super sack (a giant duffle bag used for transportation) toppled onto him.

Deaths rise
The region's actual death toll is higher than 34. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) open investigations for recent accidents aren't available yet to the public.

The number of deaths rose alongside the sheer volume of activity in Texas. The worst accident this year killed three members of the same family in Upton County in West Texas.

They died in an inferno while working to install a blowout preventer, which seals, controls, and monitors a well.

OSHA recently proposed $50,400 in penalties and cited their employer, Mason Well Service, for several violations, including allowing smoking near the well.

Federal investigators often find safety violations at the site of a worker death, but there's only so much OSHA can do to penalize a company.

In 1991, Congress set the cap at $7,000 for a serious violation and $70,000 for a willful violation. It is a rare citation when it can be proved that a company intentionally disregarded safety requirements. The violation cap amounts have not been increased.

Penalties often get whittled down. OSHA may agree to settlements after companies protest, or mitigating factors are taken into account.

For Legal Help Call 888.987.0005

Our experienced oil field accident attorneys have handled all types of cases, involving:
• Refinery fires and explosions
• Electrocutions from faulty equipment or installation
• Drilling rig failures and collapse
• Valve and other equipment failures
• Pipeline explosions
• Violations of safety policies and procedures

We know oil field jobs are in high demand and companies are sometimes quick to fill them without providing proper training or oversight. You should not have to suffer because your employer was finding ways to maximize their profits. Instead, we are here to help you hold them accountable for their actions.

If you have suffered an oil field injury, or a loved one died in an oil field accident, please contact our offices online today at 214.987.0005 or toll free at 888.987.0005 for a free consultation. You may also contact us by e-mail today for answers to your important questions or to schedule an appointment.