Widow alleges faulty brakes caused husband's fatal crash

Widow alleges faulty brakes caused husband's fatal crash

By Clarissa Kell-Holland, Land Line staff writer

The widow of a truck driver killed in a wreck in Pennsylvania has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against a natural gas drilling company, its subsidiaries and subcontractors, alleging the brakes on the water tank truck he was driving failed, causing him to crash.

George “Bart” Garlick III, 50, of Lock Haven, PA, who drove for Trans Tech Logistics Inc. of Toledo, OH, was pronounced dead at the scene on May 16 after he “experienced brake failure and lost directional control of the truck, which left the road, and rolled down the mountainside, killing him,” according to court documents.

Galick’s widow, Maria, filed suit with the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania in mid-August. One of the defendants, Trans Tech, had the case against it dismissed after the trucking company argued that all claims raised against the company fall under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act.

The rest of the case, which is moving forward, includes defendants QC Energy Resources and two other QC Energy-related companies that contracted their services to four companies owned by Anadarko Petroleum as part of the Marcellus Shale natural gas project.

The complaint alleges that QC Energy, which hauls sand and water used for natural gas fracking, and Anadarko were negligent in performing routine maintenance on the truck Garlick was driving. The suit also claims the companies failed to provide him with a truck that was “fit for service” and failed to properly train him to drive safely in the weather and road conditions at the time of the crash.

QC Energy and Anadarko countered that Garlick was operating the vehicle at a speed too fast for conditions, lost control of his vehicle, and did not apply the brakes in sufficient time to prevent him from leaving the roadway and going over an embankment.