Killeen: Local trucking company ordered to pay millions

A Travis County jury awarded Ronnie Claxton, (second from right) of De Valle, $7.4 million for injuries he suffered in a collision caused by a truck driver from Even Better Logistics, a spokesman for The Carlson Law Firm said. (Courtesy photo)
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KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) A Killeen trucking company has been ordered to pay millions of dollars to a man who sustained serious injuries in a 2017 crash.

A Travis County jury awarded Ronnie Claxton, of De Valle, $7.4 million for injuries he suffered in a collision caused by a truck driver from Even Better Logistics, according to a spokesman with The Carlson Law Firm.

The firm says the Killeen-based transportation company, and its driver, violated serious Texas Department of Transportation rules.

In April of 2017, an Even Better Logistics truck carrying an oversized and over-height load was traveling on an unapproved route when it hit a bridge in the 1500 block of U.S. Highway 83 toward the State Highway 71 East bridge, causing debris to fly through Claxton's windshield, the suit alleged.

Claxton's attorneys say he sustained "lifelong injuries that have left him unable to return to a normal life."

Even Better Logistics LLC is listed online as a shipping and trucking company running a freight hauling business at 2111 Schwertner Dr. in Killeen.

KWTX made multiple attempt to reach the company through various phone numbers listed online.

A woman who answered one of the phones said she was with Even Better Logistics, however, she said she was not the owner and questioned how KWTX obtained the phone number.

The woman said she knew nothing about the situation, but would let the owner know KWTX was requesting comment.

KWTX did not immediately hear back.

In the lawsuit claiming gross negligence, the defendants included Even Better Logistics, LLC, the owner, Michelle Cora Croom, of Belton, and the driver, Dennis Edward Rayner, of Willis.

According to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, Even Better Logistics LLC’s operating authority was revoked for refusing an audit and, as of March 26, 2018, the firm cannot operate commercially.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration lists the carrier as out of service.

While the company's trucks are supposed to be out of service, a rig whose registration expired in November, according to Texas Department of Transportation records, was pulled over by a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper in late December.