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Family Sues Over Crash That Killed Wife & Mother

Submitted by jrlaw on Mar 9th, 2009

February 6, 2007 FRISCO, TX - The family of a North Texas school teacher who was killed on State Highway 121 is suing the truck driver already charged with manslaughter in connection with her death.

The lawyer representing the family of 33-year-old Cynthia Carter says they hope the suit will send a strong message to the trucking industry.

The crash happened at the intersection of Highway 121 and Custer Road in Plano. Carter was the only person killed in the collision. Carters' husband, Armani, was caught in the subsequent backlog of traffic. The husband and father says he was afraid something had happened to his wife.

It was early on the morning of October 18th. Armani had just said goodbye to his wife. "But when I was washing up myself? I just got sick all of a sudden," he said.

Armani went looking for his wife, who was a 5th grade teacher in Ferris. Traffic was diverted on Highway 121. After a series of phone calls, Armani learned his wife had been killed by an 18-wheeler that ran a red light.

The family's attorney says Cynthia Carter's vehicle was dragged about 150 feet. "Her car became engulfed in flames. The tragedy is Mrs. Carter probably burned to death and died from smoke inhalation and burns," said attorney, Jeffrey Rasansky.

In a lawsuit filed Tuesday Armani Carter and his three children are suing truck driver, Jeremy Davidson, his employer Keel Trucking, and two other hauling companies.

Attorneys for the Carter family claim Davidson should never have been hired. "He was 20-years-old and had three prior problems on his driving record," says Rasansky. "He should not have been behind the wheel driving on the day of the accident."

The suit also claims the truck Davidson was driving had faulty brakes and the company failed to ensure it was fit for the roadway. "We have an epidemic of companies not taking responsibility for placing on the road truck drivers who are inexperienced, who have no business driving, really nothing more than, 80,000 pound missiles," Rasansky said.

Dealing with Cynthia's death hasn't been easy for the Carter family. "I'm raising my children, I can do that. I'm not worried about raising my children, even though it's hard, because I have two girls," Armani says. "Thank God we have a bunch of aunts, but it's not the same as their mama, you know, it's not their mama."

CBS 11 News attempted to contact truck driver Jeremy Davidson, and the Keel Trucking Company, but neither returned our phone calls.