A Texas family is taking legal action involving a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against SpaceX after the death of a family member after a car crash that occurred outside the launch site.
The crash took place on June 7, 2020, when the Venegas family of five, of San Benito, Texas, were on a camping trip to the beach when rising tides forced them to leave at around 4 a.m.
As they drove on Highway 4, they struck into an 18-wheeler that was stopped outside the SpaceX facility, caused the death of husband and father, Carlos Javier Venegas, 35.
Venegas’ wife, Lucinne Venegas, and their three children went through injuries to their spines and legs.
The autopsy reported Venegas’ cause of death to have been “blunt force trauma caused by a motor vehicle accident”.
The family is taking legal action against SpaceX for $20 million in damages, claiming that this was the result of gross negligence on the company’s behalf.
Attorneys for the Venegas family state that the company failed to gear up and update the highway to account for the heavy-duty and constant use, the court documents noted.
The attorneys said that SpaceX should have added adequate lighting, warnings, and procedures to direct obstructive third-party delivery vehicles, so that beachgoers could travel through the site safely, especially at night.
They also claimed that the burden was on SpaceX, not the regional government, to broaden the highway to account for the extra traffic load.
In the case of the 18-wheeler associated with the crash, the court documents said the highway was too narrow, dark, and difficult to navigate, and this is likely what resulted in obstructing the highway.
Attorneys for SpaceX have said that is not the case, saying it was negligence on Venegas’ part that resulted in the fatal accident.