$11 million settlement reached in lawsuit over deadly crash outside of Odessa

Photo courtesy of Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton.
Photo courtesy of Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton.(KOSA)
Published: Jan. 3, 2018 at 11:55 AM CST
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The families of two men killed in a 2015 crash outside of Odessa have reached an $11 million settlement with a company whose driver was involved.

On May 4, 2015 John Reynolds of Vicksburg, Mississippi and Tommy Rivers of Fort Worth, Texas were returning home from a fundraiser event in El Paso when they were involved in a head-on collision with Hector Botello Jr.

Botello Jr., who was employed by Sage Enviro Tech, LTD reportedly crossed the median of Interstate 20 near mile marker 112 before the crash.

Both Reynolds and Rivers passed away from their injuries at the scene. Botello was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Following the deadly crash the families of both Reynolds and Rivers filed a lawsuit against Sage Enviro Tech, accusing the company of failing to consider Botello's history of mental illness and alcohol abuse.

Botello was convicted of DWI in California in 2009.

“A simple background check could have prevented such a tragedy,” said Jamie Moncus of Hare, Wynn, Newell and Newton, the firm representing the families. “We recently marked the third Christmas that the families of John Reynolds and Tommy Rivers were without their husbands and fathers, all because of a company’s failure to be careful in hiring drivers. It is our hope that this settlement provides needed support to families whose loved ones were taken from them far too soon.”

A law enforcement report of the crash reportedly listen "long-term alcoholism" and "anxiety condition" as contributing factors in the crash, though Botello was not charged with violations or crimes.

The lawsuit was filed Nueces County in 2017.