Truck rolls, crashes into house in Rulison, displaces family that’s now suing
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
RULISON, Colorado ” Travis and Diana Casey don’t have the typical drill rig complaints.
Instead, they say, a truck rolled off a drilling pad, traveled downhill 400 yards and crashed into their house in November.
Travis Casey said he stood about 50 yards away and watched the driverless Ford F-350 truck coming downhill with a person running after it. He guessed the truck was going 40 mph or more. He was afraid for his wife Diana and 17-year-old daughter, Alexandria, who were inside the home.
Casey had been breaking ice in a stock tank for horses on the family’s ranch almost three miles east of Rulison when he saw the truck.
“I was just wondering who was coming across my hay field,” Casey said in an interview. “And then all of a sudden, there’s no driver in it and I’m going, ‘Uh oh.’ And all I could do is stand there and watch it hit the house.”
Diana had just gone into Alexandria’s room to wake her up, she said, and they both stood about 15 feet from where the truck barreled into the house.
“The whole house shook and stuff fell off the walls ” and we heard glass,” she said.
She believes the truck would have crashed through the wall and hit them had it been several more feet to the east.
Their attorney, Richard Dally, filed a lawsuit over the incident on May 27 for the Caseys. It names defendants Williams Production RMT, Cyclone Drilling and the truck driver. It says the accident occurred around 8 a.m. on Nov. 25 and the Cyclone welding truck that hit the house was acting as a contractor for Williams.
A Williams spokeswoman said she couldn’t discuss ongoing litigation. A Cyclone contracts manager said Cyclone’s insurance company was handling the matter and he didn’t discuss it further.
Photographs show a deck that was destroyed and part of a tree pushed through a wall into the Casey home. A photo of the welding truck shows a badly damaged front end with several pieces of wood lodged in it.
The Caseys also took photos of broken windows, cracks in the house’s foundation and other damage. They say the impact moved the house slightly on its foundation and they regularly found new cracks and damage long after the accident happened.
They’d custom built the house about six years ago on property that’s been in Diana’s family for about 104 years.
The Caseys said Williams offered them a place to live, cleaned up the debris and repaired Travis’ truck that was also hit in the accident. But they found the two bedroom home the company offered wasn’t satisfactory for them and their two kids.
They didn’t discuss whether anything else was offered.
The Caseys said they felt they could no longer live in the still-deteriorating house and moved into Diana’s grandfather’s house nearby in April, just one month after he passed away.
“We felt that we could deal with it ” get through the holidays ” but things kept happening,” Diana said. “We weren’t ready to move into his house, and it wasn’t right that we needed to.”
The Caseys said they spent lots of time trying to reach a resolution. Travis Casey, who’s a rancher and EnCana employee, said they had good faith that the companies would make things right. But the Caseys eventually became frustrated enough to file the lawsuit.
“It’s six-and-a-half months later and we still have no answer about what we’re going to do,” Travis Casey said.
The truck caused structural damage and made the home unlivable, the complaint says, and it also damaged hay fields, fences, water ditches, a 100-year-old tree and other property.
The complaint says the driver was negligent for allowing the truck to trespass and crash into the home. It says both Williams and Cyclone were negligent by failing to properly train and supervise the driver.
The complaint asks for a jury trial and a judgment against Williams, Cyclone and the driver, plus damages for the destroyed home and property, moving expenses, emotional distress and other damages.
“They need to be good stewards of the earth,” Diana said of the companies. “They’re not taking care of the families that are living around this industry.”
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The Glenwood Springs City Council voted to extend the existing face covering mandate for indoor public-facing spaces within city limits during Thursday night’s meeting.