Jury now deliberating in deadly Fabens mud racing crash trialdfwnewsa | January 12, 2024 | 0 | Texas News
EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) — Friday afternoon a jury began deliberating in the case involving a deadly mud racing crash in Fabens.
The crash happened in June 2021 when a race car went off the track and slammed into a crowd of spectators. 24-year-old Willie Valadez was killed. Several others were injured.
Valadez’s parents, Adelia and Francisco Valadez, filed a lawsuit following the deadly incident. Other plaintiffs involved include Alma Erives and Jesus Parra who were both seriously injured.
Rock Solid Protection LLC was named a defendant in the lawsuit. Scott Smith is the owner of Rock Solid Protection. The company was hired by the event’s promoter, Moreton Productions, to provide security.
Other defendants include Moreton Productions who was in charge of planning and coordinating the event. They were also responsible for inspecting the track.
The families are all represented by different attorneys. Throughout the trial, the victims’ attorneys affirmed the barriers built to protect the crowd were inadequate. They also claimed that the security company failed to enforce safety precautions.
They also said the track’s guardrail was still in construction during the incident. And there was no cushion between the spectators and the track.
One attorney said during closing arguments, “Moreton and Rock Solid both were wrong.”
Another lawyer said, “It was Rock Solid Security who didn’t do its job.”
One of the defendants’ attorneys argued Smith was not involved in the planning, but was instead approached by Moreton to provide security.
“Scott knew the spectators wouldn’t be completely safe. It was an extreme sport.”
According to the defense, other security members that day expressed concern. One said the event “was not well planned by Moreton and it was not the responsibility of Rock Solid.”
A race track driver said, “Moreton’s guardrails weren’t properly anchored. Security is not involved in the safety. The promoter is responsible for identifying the track’s safety.”
During rebuttal, an attorney representing the families, said Smith and his team should have left the job when they found out the dangers. “He wasn’t protecting and serving. He knew better. He has a duty.”
The jury will also decide the damages in this case. Lawyers explained to the jury the amount they thought would be appropriate for the families.
The lawyer for the Valadez family said, “If they’re going to get justice, it’s here in this case.”
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