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Sean Breen Interviewed by KXAN on Lawsuit Filed Over Tragic Hays County School Bus Crash

Howry, Breen & Herman, LLP

Howry, Breen & Herman, LLP Partner Sean Breen recently appeared on KXAN-TV to discuss our firm’s recent filing of a personal injury lawsuit for a local preschool teacher injured in a tragic crash between a Hays County school bus and a concrete pump truck being operated by a driver who had recently used cocaine.

The lawsuit stems from a collision on March 22 on State Highway 21 when a concrete pump truck being operated by Jerry Hernandez careened into a Hays County school bus that had been carrying 11 adults and 44 pre-K students from Tom Green Elementary back from a field trip to the Capital of Texas Zoo, causing it to roll over.

A 5-year-old student aboard the bus and 33-year-old University of Texas grad student traveling in a vehicle behind the bus died in the crash.

According to investigators from the Texas Department of Public Safety, Hernandez, who was arrested and charged with criminally negligent homicide, admitted to authorities that he had used cocaine and marijuana within 24 hours of the crash, and that he slept just three hours the night before. Investigators also uncovered records that Hernandez had previously refused a reasonable suspicion test in September 2020, which should have prohibited him from performing safety-sensitive functions like operating a truck for his company.

About the Lawsuit

As reported by KXAN, Sean Breen and our team at Howry, Breen & Herman, LLP are representing Tom Green Elementary Pre-K Teacher Deborah Serna and her husband in a personal injury action filed against Hernandez, his employer, FJM Concrete Pumping, LLC, the company’s owner, and GEICO insurance.

Mrs. Serna suffered severe injuries in the crash, including at least four broken bones in her back, but was still able to courageously help her young students off the bus before being treated by paramedics. She faces a long road to recovery and will be unable to work while she heals and attempts to rehabilitate. Her losses, Sean noted in his interview, are just some of the many experienced by the dozens of victims and families involved in this case.

“She (Serna) is seriously hurt, but a small child lost his life and a family is grieving, and another young man behind them was killed and that family is grieving.”

As Sean told KXAN, the case is one of the most egregious examples of negligence he’s seen in his years of being a trial lawyer:

“I’ve been doing this for quite some time and helped a lot of people in serious incidents, but this is one of the worst, most depraved and grossly negligent conduct by a truck driver and employer I have ever seen.”

The lawsuit, filed on Thursday, April 25, 2024 in Bastrop County, accuses Hernandez, who was arrested and charged with criminally negligent homicide, of being “[i]mpaired on drugs, unfit to drive and equipped with a deadly multi-ton vehicle that became a weapon” turning a zoo field trip into a “life taking, life shattering explosion of terror and mayhem when he smashed his truck into a bus full of innocent, unsuspecting people.”

It also accuses FJM Concrete of negligent hiring, training, supervision, and retention of Hernandez. As Sean told KXAN:

“When you look at the freight train of opportunities that this owner and the company had, you can see that this is off the charts negligence.”

Sean went on to discuss how, in addition to seeking justice and compensation for our client, he is hopeful that the lawsuit will put pressure on lawmakers to make sure there are seatbelts on all school buses.

You can read more about our lawsuit and view Sean Breen’s interview on KXAN-TV here.

Sean Breen is a nationally recognized trial lawyer and Partner at Howry, Breen & Herman, LLP. Backed by years of experience, he has cultivated a reputation for handling complex and high stakes cases and has amassed a record of success that includes record-breaking verdicts and settlements and millions of dollars in compensation for victims across Texas. Widely respected by his peers, he’s also received some of the industry’s top accolades, including 15 years of inclusion in the prestigious Texas Super Lawyers publication and Best Lawyers’ “Lawyer of the Year” distinction on two separate occasions.

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