Family of woman killed in car fire on I-30 sues driver, trucking company


The husband of a 34-year-old New Boston, Texas, woman who burned to death when an 18-wheeler slammed into her car Aug. 11, recently filed a lawsuit.

Jared Higgs, husband of Heather Higgs, filed suit last week against the driver and the company for which he was working. The wrongful death suit, filed in the Texarkana Division of the Western District of Arkansas on Aug. 23 by Texarkana lawyer Matthew Golden, seeks to recover damages from Jerry Freeman and PNK, Inc., both of Nevada County, Ark.

Jared Higgs is asking for damages on behalf of himself and Heather Higgs’ daughter, mother, father and brother for their grief and mental anguish and for the mental anguish Heather Higgs experienced before her death.

“Due to traffic stopping in front of her, Mrs. Higgs stopped her car. Defendant Freeman—while in the course and scope of his employment—recklessly failed to stop the 18-wheeler he was operating, and violently collided with Mrs. Higgs,” the complaint states. “This violent collision caused Mrs. Higgs’ car to catch fire, and she was burned to death.”

Higgs, a local hair salon owner, was driving home from work at the time of her death. The suit accuses Freeman of failing to keep a proper look-out, of driving too fast under the circumstances, of following too closely, of failing to pay attention and more. PNK is accused of failing to properly train Freeman.

In addition to damages for Heather Higgs’ wrongful death, mental anguish, pain and suffering, the suit seeks to recover for funeral expenses.

The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Susan Hickey.

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