New witnesses in third day of testimony of Thanksgiving pileup trial

A Department of Public Safety sergeant Wednesday testified that fog was not to blame in the 2012 Thanksgiving Day pile up that took the lives of a Pearland couple. The accident happened on Interstate 10 west of Beaumont and involved over 100 vehicles and sent 53 people to the hospital. 

Vincent and Debra Leggio died after Richardo Fernando Kerr's tractor trailer crashed into and landed on top of their SUV. Now their three adult children are suing Kerr and the trucking company, CR England.

Sergeant Chuck Havard with the Department of Public Safety took the stand during day three of testimony in the civil trial. Havard said based on the DPS investigation, Kerr was speeding and did not apply his brakes before hitting the Leggio's vehicle.

Dr. Eric Moody, the forensic engineer who analyzed the fatal wreck, also testified today. He said Kerr may not have been traveling as fast as other witnesses claim. Moody said he thinks Kerr may have been traveling at about 52 miles per hour, not close to 70, as DPS and family attorneys testified earlier. However Moody still points blame to Kerr for the Leggio's death.

"Mr. Kerr failed to take under consideration the conditions of the road," he said. "He drove many miles an hour faster than he should, and that's what caused the accident."

In yesterday's testimony, Casey Cator, who was driving behind Kerr's tractor trailer, said there was fog the entire way from Houston to Beaumont. This contradicted what the defense had called "sudden and unexpected fog."

Cator also claimed that someone from CR England called him and asked him to change his story.

The medical examiner involved with the case is expected to take the stand tomorrow.


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