The only survivor of the car crash involving cast members of the musical “Texas” has sued for more than $1 million in damages.
Timothy Johnson is suing Amarillo resident Joseph Batson, his company, Coldwater Cattle Co., and Texas Panhandle Heritage Foundation, which produces the musical “Texas,” for failing to provide safe transportation from the party hosted at Coldwater Cattle Co., according to court filings.
After the musical’s end-of-season party hosted by Batson, a car carrying six cast and crew members crashed, resulting in five fatalities on Aug. 12. The driver of the car, former ACU student Clint Diaz, had a blood-alcohol level of .165, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety report. Indications of marijuana were also found in his blood.
Diaz, former ACU theater major, transferred to West Texas A&M last spring semester.
The petition said Batson’s failure to provide safe transportation for the cast and crew “constituted negligence that directly and caused the injuries” because at the time of the crash “Diaz was acting as a… representative” of Batson.
Texas law makes those who provide alcohol legally responsible for the harm caused by intoxication-related accidents.
Channy Wood, Johnson’s attorney in the lawsuit, said the defendant has not filed a response but will probably do so in the next two weeks.
The family of Julian Arredondo, who was killed in the crash, has also filed to join the lawsuit against Batson.
Johnson is still recovering in the hospital, said Wood.
“I think one of the things we all hope is that some light is going to be shed on what happened in this accident,” Wood said. “Hopefully we’ll be able to take some steps to prevent this happening in the future.”