Mother Dies Protecting Daughter in Horrific Grocery Store Accident



Austin Personal Injury Lawyers

Austin Personal Injury Lawyers - Perlmutter & Schuelke, PLLC

Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) December 15, 2015 – The H-E-B grocery store in southeast Houston was the scene of a tragedy so horrific that many in the store at the time of the accident could not believe it could ever happen inside a store in the checkout line. One woman on a grocery run lost her life saving her daughter.

Karla Sanchez had taken her two-year-old daughter and sister with her on grocery run. She was standing in the checkout line unloading her groceries when suddenly an SUV drove through the front glass doors. Sanchez was killed. Six others were badly hurt. Sanchez’s daughter survived, thanks to her mom protecting her.

“Apparently a 74-year old female backed out of her parking spot outside in the front lot and drove it straight through the front glass doors. In the process, she also knocked over a large stone barrier set up to prevent vehicles coming up on the walk,” said Austin personal injury attorney, Brooks Schuelke of Perlmutter & Schuelke, PLLC. It was painfully evident the day of the accident that the stone barriers, once thought to offer good protection to pedestrians, were not anchored properly and not effective.

Initial police reports indicated no charges were filed against the 74-year-old driver, who told her husband the SUV made an unusual sound just before the accident. Her husband indicated she had a good driving record and was not on any prescription medication that may have impaired her driving ability.

“In this case, the family of the deceased filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver of the SUV. Part of the evidence in that case may well involve a complete examination of the vehicle and its steering and braking systems. The driver’s medical records would also be checked,” said Schuelke. The concrete barriers would be called into question as to their ability to stop a moving vehicle, which clearly did not happen in this case.

Personal injury lawsuits usually involve an element of negligence, and in this instance, negligence may be proven to be present as a result of poor vehicle maintenance or a vehicle defect the manufacturer should have known about. There may also be concerns about the driver’s vision, reflexes, driving record and whether she was doing something else while backing up, such as texting or adjusting the radio.

A lawsuit may also be appropriate against the H-E-B store, the company that designed the barriers, the company that installed the barriers, the company that inspected the barriers and any other associated with the barriers. Clearly, H-E-B and others knew about the possibility that someone might drive through the store. Unfortunately, no one took the care and time needed to make sure that work was done right.

While a lawsuit will not bring the mother back, it may result in compensation to provide for the two-year-old daughter and other children she left behind.

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