Family of prison bus crash victim sues TxDOT and TDCJ


ECTOR COUNTY, Texas - The family of an inmate killed in a Jan. 2015 prison bus crash while being transported from Abilene to El Paso has filed a wrongful death lawsuit.

Click here for copy of the lawsuit.

Jesus Reyna is one of 10 people -- eight inmates and two corrections officers -- killed when the bus transporting them from the Middleton Unit in Abilene to the Sanchez State Jail in El Paso crashed on I-20 in Penwell.

The bus hit an icy patch, went through a guard rail, down an embankment and then struck a moving train.

According to the lawsuit filed in Ector County against the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and the Texas Department of Transportation, the bus driver was "driving at a rate of speed not reasonably prudent considering icy road conditions."

The lawsuit also said the bus hitting the guardrail caused "the inmates, including Reyna, to violently jolt around inside the bus." The inmates were not wearing seatbelts, according to the lawsuit.

Reyna's family also blames TxDOT for his death because, according to the lawsuit, "TxDOT failed to repair the severely damaged guardrail" which had been hit at least three times in the 28 hours before the crash.

In its report released last month, the National Transportation Safety Board blamed the crash on a piece of displaced guardrail.

Chris Davis of Abilene and Eligio Garcia Jr., who did play-by-play for Albany High School football, were the two correctional officers killed in the crash near Odessa.

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