Loose Gravel On Local Highway Was “Act Of God,” Contractor Says

(File Photo by Nick Delgado)
By  | 

LAMPASAS COUNTY (June 24, 2014) The heavy rain that loosened tons of gravel earlier this month on U.S. Highway 190 in Lampasas County after a seal-coating project was an “act of God” and the company that did the work says it’s not responsible for the damage the loose gravel caused to vehicles.

In a statement released Tuesday, Shane Barrington, president of Granbury-based Northeastern Pavers, Inc., said the company “met all of the specifications of this project and have no fault related to the disaster that happened on June 9 and 10.”

“This was an act of God incident,” he said in the statement.

“The cold rain made the liquid asphalt contract in which it released the aggregate that was found to it,” he said.

“We tried to own this issue” by submitting claims to the company’s insurance carrier, he said.

But the insurance company responded that claims should be submitted to the carriers that cover the motorists whose vehicles were damaged, he said.

He apologized in the statement and said the company understands “the stress and strain this situation has caused.”

The company also released a letter dated June 10 that was sent to the Texas Department of Transportation’s area engineer that asks TxDOT “to accept responsibility for this situation and relieve us of all liability...to avoid litigation for these numerous claims that are currently pending.”

The loose gravel left vehicles with broken windshields, dents, and chipped paint.

Lampasas resident Mitchell Taylor’s pickup truck was damaged as he drove on the highway.

“(It) felt like I was driving on water, my (truck’s) rear-end was sliding all over on all the loose gravel," he said.

"Every time a car would pass gravel would get thrown up and hits the windshield, the hood, and just everywhere on the truck."

The gravel caused an even bigger problem for Rebecca Chaney as she drove to work.

"My tires caught a bunch of gravel and I spun out of control and ended up backing into this ditch and that culvert popped my tire," Chaney said.

"When it was happening I thought I was going to die."

Her car nearly overturned, but she escaped unharmed.