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Brooks and Radchenko Law Firm

Personal Injury

Updated:

September 27, 2022

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Katie Palmer Car Accident In Denison, Texas

katie palmer

This blog post is about the 2020 Katie Palmer accident and tragedy, and the Justice for Katie Palmer movement. The crime podcast Morbid recently covered the Katie Palmer case - and hosts Alaina Urquhart and Ashleigh Kelley called the case a “call to action” case and “the most infuriating thing you will ever hear”.

The family of Katie Palmer has chosen the law firm of Brooks & Radchenko to represent them in their quest for justice and accountability. We are honored to represent the family in this wrongful death case and will fight for their rights via every avenue available.

Our mission in this case is to help the family obtain justice for their heartbreaking loss. As we have seen in so many cases, a personal injury lawyer can be helpful in a civil claim, which is separate from a criminal case brought by the state. Of course, it is our hope that the driver, Cory Foster of Denison, TX, will be held accountable both in civil and criminal courts.

What Happened In the Katie Palmer Accident in Denison, Texas?

Katie Palmer was a loving daughter, wife, mother, and science teacher. On the morning of April 21, 2020, Palmer was walking on Glenwood Dr. in her neighborhood in Denison, Texas. She was out on a walk with her husband John Palmer when they were struck from behind by an F-250 pickup truck driven by their neighbor, Cory Foster.

Palmer was thrown 75 feet from where she was struck. She was airlifted to a hospital, where she tragically died. Fifty minutes after the accident, Foster blew a .06  blood alcohol content (BAC) on a breathalyzer.

There were several problematic legal issues in the Katie Palmer car accident which we explore below. Ultimately, Cory Foster should not have been driving that morning while under the influence of alcohol, speeding, and blinded by the glare of condensation on the windshield of his truck.

Is Cory Foster Imprisoned?

cory foster

Despite being behind the wheel of the truck that killed Katie Palmer in Denison, TX, and seriously injured her husband John Palmer, Corey Foster was never charged for anything and is not in jail.

Four months after the incident, a Grayson County Grand Jury declined to indict Foster for manslaughter or criminal negligence. Particularly troublesome with the lack of criminal accountability: Foster has a long and documented 20-year history of vehicular crime and negligence in Grayson County, Texas including DWI, personal injury, fleeing arrest, reckless driving, and speeding.

The case - and lack of law enforcement action - has picked national attention in 2022, and was recently featured on Nancy Grace’s website, Crime Online. The Justice for Katie Palmer Facebook Group has more than 17,000 members.

Fatal Car Accidents in Texas

Fatal accidents occur in Texas every single day. According to the Texas DPS, in 2021 one person was killed in a crash every 1 hour and 57 minutes, and a person was injured every 2 minutes and 12 seconds. In 2021, there were 4,480 vehicle accident fatalities in Texas, up 15% from 3,896 Texas traffic deaths in 2020. Many of these fatal accidents are not accidents at all - they are preventable acts of negligence caused by distracted, drunk, or otherwise reckless drivers. When these heartbreaking accidents occur, a fatal car accident attorney can help with protecting surviving family members’ legal rights to accountability and compensation.

Wrongful Death Claim in Texas

A wrongful death claim is a kind of personal injury claim filed for someone who did not survive an accident. Texas’s wrongful death statute establishes who can file a wrongful death claim in Texas. Typically, an action is brought by a surviving spouse, parents, or adult children of the deceased. Siblings and grandparents are not allowed to file a wrongful death claim unless they are the named personal representative of the decedent.

What Damages Can Be Recovered Under a Wrongful Death Claim?

A civil claim for wrongful death and personal injury can be filed whether or not criminal charges are filed for negligence or recklessness. Liability for wrongful death is determined solely by financial compensation. Unlike criminal cases, damages available for wrongful death in Texas include:

  • Final medical care expenses;
  • Funeral and burial expenses;
  • Lost earning capacity of the decedent;
  • Loss of household services like childcare;
  • Mental pain and anguish of surviving family members;
  • Loss of love, care, and companionship;
  • Loss of inheritance.

Texas’ wrongful death statute states that a person may be liable for damages that cause an individual’s death if their wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, or unskillfulness caused their death.

Problems with Katie Palmer's Case

justice for katie palmer facebook

There are a number of issues with the Katie Palmer accident case. Beyond the facts of the accident itself, it is very concerning that Grayson County law enforcement and local government, including District Attorney Brett Smith, failed to take action against Cory Foster in this case. There was so much evidence to support that his actions behind the wheel of his Ford F-250 truck caused Katie’s death and John’s injury:

  • Subpoenaed phone records indicate Foster was on the phone when he struck John and Katie Palmer. He crossed a road and stated that “he never saw them” and  “I thought I hit a telephone pole.”
  • Foster exceeded the posted speed limit and admitted to driving blind due to condensation on the roadway.
  • Foster smelled strongly of alcohol at the time of the accident. It was nearly an hour after an accident when Foster was finally given a breathalyzer test. He blew a .06 and was ultimately given a ride home by the trooper, who knew of him.

Since this accident and another fatal pedestrian accident in January 2017, there was a push - House Bill 1287 - to require law enforcement to test a driver’s blood for drugs or alcohol if they strike a pedestrian and cause major injury or death. That was ultimately passed but did nothing for the family of Katie Palmer in Texas.

Lack of Accountability for Unconscionable Negligence

While Katie’s case is horrific, there are many other instances of innocent victims being struck by drunk and distracted drivers without criminal consequences. Every accident has its circumstances but unconscionable negligence is, unfortunately, a common theme.

If you have been affected by a devastating loss, with or without criminal consequence, we urge you to pursue every avenue available for accountability and justice. We are committed to Katie’s civil case, and everyone who has had a story with similarities or parallels. If we can be of any help, we urge you to contact us for a free and confidential consultation.

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