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Jury Rules (C&W Singer) Toby Keith's Father Not At Fault In Crash That Killed Him
AP / KOTV Channel 6 Tulsa, OK ^ | 12-24-07 | AP writer

Posted on 12/25/2007 9:07:51 AM PST by OKSooner

PURCELL, Okla. (AP) - Toby Keith, his mother and his siblings have been awarded $2.8 million in damages in the 2001 collision that killed the country music star's father. A jury returned the verdict against Elias Rodriguez and Pedro Rodriguez, operators of Rodriguez Transportes of Tulsa, and the Republic Western Insurance Co.

According to evidence presented at trial, a charter bus owned by the Rodriguezes was ``in urgent need'' of brake repairs before H.K. Covel was killed in the March 2001 accident on Interstate 35, said attorney Greg Dixon, who represented Keith's family.

The Rodriguezes had been advised of the brake problem before Covel's truck crossed the center median and struck the bus, he said.

The family initially suspected Covel suffered a medical condition that caused the truck to veer out of control. It later learned another vehicle had bumped the truck and filed a wrongful death lawsuit to clear Covel's name, Dixon said.

The verdict was returned last week. ``The jury found no fault on the part of Mr. Covel in the wreck that claimed his life,'' Dixon said.

The plaintiffs, wife Carolyn Covel, daughter Tonni Covel and sons Toby Keith Covel and Tracey Covel, alleged that H.K. Covel would not have died if the bus had been equipped with properly working air brakes.


TOPICS: Mexico; Miscellaneous; US: Oklahoma
KEYWORDS: countrymusic; immigration; tobykeith
For those who aren't from around here, Toby Keith is a local C&W singer. Can't say I'm his biggest fan, because of his habit of jumping out in front of the camera at almost ANY televised OU sporting event.

Can't say I'd wish this situation on him, though. I also can't help but wonder about the "immigration status" of these Rodriguez dudes.

1 posted on 12/25/2007 9:07:53 AM PST by OKSooner
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To: Honeybunch; 2Jedismom; Admin Moderator

Christmas ping to you and whomever has the immigration ping list.


2 posted on 12/25/2007 9:09:06 AM PST by OKSooner
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To: OKSooner

” I also can’t help but wonder about the “immigration status” of
these Rodriguez dudes.”

Especially given that Tulsa seems to be the de facto
“sanctuary city” of Oklahoma.


3 posted on 12/25/2007 9:10:02 AM PST by VOA
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To: OKSooner
Covel's truck crossed the center median and struck the bus

...and it's the bus driver's fault?

4 posted on 12/25/2007 9:14:53 AM PST by Cruising Speed
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To: OKSooner

Well at least OU has fans!

I love Toby Keith and the work he has done on supporting our Troops.

Every cloud has a silver lining, sometime you just gotta look harder for some than others.


5 posted on 12/25/2007 9:18:14 AM PST by not2worry ( What goes around comes around!)
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To: OKSooner
Can't say I'd wish this situation on him, though. I also can't help but wonder about the "immigration status" of these Rodriguez dudes.

That's so true. If only, and maybe, the driver was a U.S. citizen Toby Keith's father wouldn't be dead, but just resting.

6 posted on 12/25/2007 9:21:33 AM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: OKSooner

Do you mean the Toby Keith who is a world famous country music performer and the man who has been supporting our troops since day one in the war against terrorism? Is it the same man who smacked the Dixie Chicks, silly?


7 posted on 12/25/2007 9:22:37 AM PST by em2vn
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To: Cruising Speed
"The family initially suspected Covel suffered a medical condition that caused the truck to veer out of control. It later learned another vehicle had bumped the truck and filed a wrongful death lawsuit to clear Covel's name, Dixon said. "

Now you know as much about it as I do.

8 posted on 12/25/2007 9:23:34 AM PST by OKSooner
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To: em2vn
Lighten up and have a Merry Christmas.

I just said I wasn't the guy's biggest fan, and my reason for it. Your point is well taken.

9 posted on 12/25/2007 9:25:05 AM PST by OKSooner
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To: Cruising Speed
...and it's the bus driver's fault?

This is not the best-written article.

But what is sounds like is the truck driven by Toby Keith's dad was
struck by another vehicle, causing the truck to cross the median,
where it was blasted by the bus.

My naive speculation is that maybe when the Oklahoma Highway Patrol
did a thorough investigation, they learned the bus's brakes were
in a mess...thus the driver was unable to avoid hitting the truck
by simply braking.

It could be that the accident reconstruction and eye witnesses showed
the bus had plenty of distance/time to avoid collision even though
the truck was where it should not have been.
E.g., maybe there was no "skid mark" left by the bus trying to
avoid collision.

This all may come under that high duty of all motorists, avoiding
collision and injury.
And the bus-line owners were found wanting, having given
their bus driver a vehicle with defective brakes, hence the verdict.
10 posted on 12/25/2007 9:27:05 AM PST by VOA
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To: Cruising Speed
"...and it's the bus driver's fault?"

Well, according to the article, that depends.

If Covel crossed the median because of a medical condition, then no. But since he crossed the median because he was bumped, the bus driver should have been able to stop.

("When logic and proportion, have fallen sloppy dead")

Now a sane person would think that the family would sue the driver who bumped Covel, causing the accident. Hah! Everyone knows you sue the person with the most insurance -- who cares if it's not their fault.

11 posted on 12/25/2007 9:31:50 AM PST by robertpaulsen
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To: Cruising Speed

Depends on if the bus could have stopped in time if the brakes were working properly. If his truck had been pushed intoi the other lane and the bus couldn’t have stopped in time with good brakes, the status of the brakes wouldn’t have mattered.


12 posted on 12/25/2007 9:43:58 AM PST by SeaHawkFan
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To: OKSooner
It later learned another vehicle had bumped the truck and filed a wrongful death lawsuit to clear Covel's name, Dixon said.

So I'm guessing they won't take the money. Grifters.

13 posted on 12/25/2007 9:47:21 AM PST by Crawdad (I cried because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no class.)
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To: robertpaulsen

Yeah, deepest pockets win, so to speak.


14 posted on 12/25/2007 9:56:37 AM PST by kenth
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To: OKSooner
I also can't help but wonder about the "immigration status" of these Rodriguez dudes.

"Rodriguez Transportes of Tulsa"
Does the state of Oklahoma have a habit of granting business licenses to illegal aliens?

15 posted on 12/25/2007 10:18:16 AM PST by TeleStraightShooter (The Right To Take Life is NOT a Constitutional "Liberty" protected by the 14th Amendment)
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To: em2vn
That would be the one.

16 posted on 12/25/2007 10:28:35 AM PST by armymarinemom (My sons freed Iraqi and Afghan Honor Roll students.)
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To: OKSooner

” I also can’t help but wonder about the “immigration status” of these Rodriguez dudes.”

Why?


17 posted on 12/25/2007 10:35:40 AM PST by Bob J
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To: em2vn
Do you mean the Toby Keith who is a world famous country music performer and the man who has been supporting our troops since day one in the war against terrorism?

He came down to the piers and sang on board one of the ships at Gitmo a few years ago. I'm not a country music fan but I remember being impressed because usually celebrities only want to visit the CVNs and LHAs, not the little guys.

18 posted on 12/25/2007 11:33:06 AM PST by GATOR NAVY
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To: Bob J
“Why?”

Well for starters, everybody knows that with a name like that they can’t be ‘merican. Frankly, while we’re at it, I think we should throw the cities of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, San Diego, Santa Fe, El Paso, and San Antonio right out of this country - clearly with names like those, real ‘mericans couldn’t live in them. Why, we could get rid of the whole state of New Mexico.

19 posted on 12/25/2007 11:41:58 AM PST by stormer
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To: stormer

Well put.


20 posted on 12/25/2007 12:14:51 PM PST by RebekahT ("Government is not the solution to the problem, government is the problem." -- Ronald Reagan)
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To: Bob J

Just askin’.


21 posted on 12/25/2007 12:31:37 PM PST by OKSooner
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To: RebekahT

Thank you. I would bet that there was a Rodriguez living in what became the United States about 150 years before the first Smiths, Browns, and Joneses put down roots.


22 posted on 12/25/2007 2:26:20 PM PST by stormer
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To: stormer

And I’d bet you would be right.


23 posted on 12/25/2007 2:50:38 PM PST by RebekahT ("Government is not the solution to the problem, government is the problem." -- Ronald Reagan)
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To: stormer

Of course you’re right. This anti anything whiffing of brown people is getting out of hand on FR and needs to be called on at every turn.

It has and continues to give this site a black eye. People were shocked when BOR said FR is a hate site, my only shock was at their shock. They’re either blind or not getting around to enough threads.

One bad apple and all...


24 posted on 12/25/2007 3:05:46 PM PST by Bob J
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To: VOA
"...maybe there was no "skid mark" left by the bus trying to avoid collision..."

Just BTW: Modern vehicles with ABS seldom leave skid marks.

25 posted on 12/26/2007 7:10:23 AM PST by Does so (...against all enemies, DOMESTIC and foreign...)
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To: Does so
Just BTW: Modern vehicles with ABS seldom leave skid marks.

Thanks for that mention. I hadn't considered that.

But (and this is a friendly addition!)...
1. My understanding is that with the introduction of ABS, some
drivers now overestimate their stopping distance with these improved
brake systems.
AND
2. In Oklahoma, the new ABS could have been on the truck driven
by Toby Keith's father.
OR...in Oklahoma he could have had a vintage pick-em-up truck like
a 1957 stepside half-ton Chevy...with restored standard brakes, but
not with an ABS system.

I grew up in north-central Oklahoma and even with travels around
the USA, Canada, the UK and Mexicos...I do get just about as much
"machine-lust" when I see a great vintage pick-up truck as when
I would see a very cool Ferrari or Maserti in Los Angeles.

Guess I'm "Old School".
Or maybe even "Old Redneck School"!
26 posted on 12/26/2007 5:46:48 PM PST by VOA
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To: VOA

Yes, but wouldn’t the TK’s dad share the responsiblity since it was his truck that crossed the median?


27 posted on 12/26/2007 5:52:42 PM PST by DLfromthedesert
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To: DLfromthedesert
Yes, but wouldn’t the TK’s dad share the responsiblity since it was his
truck that crossed the median?


That's a appealing proposition...and my post 10 is SPECULATION
about the case based on the less-than-stellar reportage in the lead
article.

I'm not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV...but I suspect the
outcome of the present case rests on an appreciation that Toby Keith's
father wasn't really in control of the initial AND ensuing events.

In other words, the elder Mr. Covell was forced into his perilous situation
by a third party...a vehicle that struck his truck and forced him
out of his lane and into the path of an oncoming bus that
had brakes that would have been better maintained by a "reasonable" owner...
thus causing the elder Covell's death.

Whether that's the right decision...is ABOVE my paygrade!

I suspect that some of my old buddies that went to law school
would say that
"BUT FOR"
the poor brakes of the bus...Mr. Covell/"Keith" would be alive today
or recovering from injuries.
Hence the jury finding.
28 posted on 12/26/2007 6:10:52 PM PST by VOA
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