Two lawsuits have arisen from a March 21 two-car collision in which a 17-year-old girl died and three other young women suffered personal injuries.
Tracy Leal has filed suit against Jim Howard III on the behalf of his deceased daughter Samantha Renee Romero in Texas’ Galveston County Court.
Connie Onhiser, the paternal grandmother of Raquel Nicole Martinez, has also filed suit against Howard.
Both suits were filed on March 27 in Texas’ Galveston County Circuit Court.
According to the suits, Howard was intoxicated at the time of the crash in which the Ford Taurus he was driving rear-ended the Toyota Scion occupied by Romero and four other high school students.
According to court papers, Romero, a junior drill team member at Texas City High School, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. The suit also says that Martinez, Priscilla Selvera, and Jaslynn Perkins were injured in the crash and rushed to Texas Medical Center in Houston.
Martinez, 17, remains at Ben Taub General Hospital, where she is listed in critical condition. Her injuries required that her leg be amputated.
Howard, who was also injured in the crash, received transport to the University of Texas Medical Branch’s John Sealy Hospital in Galveston.
Howard was charged by police with one count of intoxicated vehicular manslaughter and three counts of intoxicated vehicular assault.
On March 25, it was reported in The Galveston County Daily News that he would be taken into custody on $850,000 bond upon his recovery from surgery.
Kasia Evette Scott, whose vehicle Howard was driving, was also named as a defendant.
The plaintiffs’ attorneys say they also plan to bring claims against establishments that served Howard alcoholic beverages prior to the crash.