A woman hurt in an 18-wheeler collision in Palestine in 2015 has been awarded a settlement of $1.6 million.
“Katherine Scott, our client, had just graduated from the University of Texas with a master's degree, had received a job from Baylor, Scott & White in Roundrock and was en route when this happened,” said Scott's attorney, Jim Parsons. “This truck just turned left in front of her, ran a red light, the driver didn't even bother to show up for the trial; so the company essentially admitted negligence.”
Most of the trial was spent examining the extent of Scott's post-traumatic stress disorder that developed because of the wreck, Parsons said.
“PTSD is a permanent injury,” said Parsons. “You don't get over it. It will always be there.”
The most important thing for Katherine was the public apology from the trucking company, Parsons said.
“They admitted that the wreck was not her fault, and they were sorry it happened,” said Parsons.
According to an article written by the Palestine Herald-Press on Aug. 30, 2015, published the following day, Katherine Scott, of Arizona, was traveling through Palestine in a blue Hyundai.
She was going through the intersection at U.S. 79 and West Oak Street, near the Jack in the Box, when an 18-wheeler made a left turn.
It was established through the court hearing that the driver of the 18-wheeler, Tony Houston of Texas, driving for TQT, LLC, ran the traffic light while turning.
The 18-wheeler Houston was driving hit the Hyundai, crushing the car on impact.
The roof of the Hyundai had to be removed to extract Scott from the vehicle.
It took almost 45 minutes for emergency crews to free Scott from her car.
Both Scott and Houston were taken to Palestine Regional Medical Center by ambulance.
Scott was later air-lifted to Trinity Mother Francis, where she was treated for a list of injuries, including six broken ribs, a broken bone in her upper left arm, a broken scapula, a bruised heart, a punctured lung and a sprained knee.
Scott's dog, Alcide, was thrown from the car and went missing after the wreck.
On Sept. 8, 2015, the Herald-Press reported that Alcide was found seven days after the accident in the crawl space under Brett Weisenburn's State Farm Office on Oak Street in Westwood.
While the dog had some really bad road rash, he was fine otherwise and healed from all his injuries, Parsons said.
Scott spent six days in the cardiac ICU, one day in the ICU, three days in the hospital and a month and a half recovering at her grandmother's house in Tyler, doing physical therapy.
She was able to go back to work two months after the crash, but continued with physical therapy for another five months.
Emotionally, Scott still stuffers from PTSD and driving apprehensions from the accident, said Parsons.
Her paid medical expenses are estimated to be $161,000.
The accident, recovery and long-term effects of the crash caused Scott to be passed over for a promotion, Parsons said.
Alcide has become Scott's therapy pet, and she is considering having him trained to work with veterans that suffer from PTSD.
“With everything she has been through, Scott's hope is to be able to give back and help others who suffer from PTSD,” said Parsons.