An Alameda County jury has awarded $13.7 million to the spouses and children of three people killed in a November 2012 crash on foggy Highway 152.
Two companies, including Western Milling of Goshen, and drivers of trucks hauling loads for them, were responsible for the accident, according to the jury that reached its verdict Friday.
The case was heard in Oakland, where the other company, Well Trucking, is based.
Western Milling and its driver were found 75% liable. The company said Wednesday that it had no comment.
Digital Access for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Well Trucking and its driver were found 25% liable. A third company, Semper Trucking of Fresno, was found not liable.
The crash occurred Nov. 27, 2012, on Highway 152 near Road 16. Killed were Quoc Dang, 48, his sister Thuy Dang, 45, and Thanh Nguyen, 54, all of San Jose. They were on their way to nail salon jobs in Dinuba.
They were formerly residents of Dinuba who moved to San Jose for a better education for their children and commuted together, said Ed Vasquez, a representative of attorney Bradley Corsiglia, who argued the case for two of the surviving families.
Quoc Dang is survived by his wife and two children, including a 22-year-old woman who is student at UCLA and a boy, 16, in high school.
Thuy Dang is survived by her husband and two children, a 23-year-old man and an 18-year-old woman, who both are students at San Jose State University.
Thanh Nguyen is survived by three children.
The accident started when a big rig carrying a load for Western Milling attempted to make a left turn across two lanes of the foggy freeway. Visibility was less than 200 feet, according to evidence at the trial.
At the same time, the Semper Trucking big rig hauling 500-pound bales of cotton was coming from the opposite direction. The truck clipped the rear of the truck carrying the load for Western Milling and overturned, spewing bales of cotton on the highway.
Soon after, a truck owned by Well Trucking hit a cotton bale and the driver lost control. The truck, pulling a trailer, swerved across the median and into the eastbound lanes of Highway 152, colliding head-on with a Honda Accord and killing all three occupants.