The families of two A&M University-Kingsville students who died in a car accident last February have filed a lawsuit against General Motors and Enterprise Rent-A-Car, alleging the companies of manufacturing and renting a defective 2016 Chevy Cruze.
According to the lawsuit, Ebenezer Oloba, 23, and Oscar Felipe Fuentes, 19, were driving on U.S. Highway 77 when their car swerved off the road and crashed into a river. They were on their way to a student government conference in College Station.
To prove that the crash was caused by unintended acceleration or another defect, experts will have to analyze the car’s black box, computer systems and other components.
“Despite the fact that Ebenezer Oloba was operating the subject vehicle in a reasonable and prudent manner, the subject vehicle suddenly and unexpectedly left the roadway, traveled on the shoulder of the roadway, where it struck two road signs, and eventually vaulted into the San Antonio River, where the vehicle quickly sank below the surface,” the lawsuit states.
Chris Stewart, an attorney for the Oloba family, said the tragedy could have been prevented.
“Fantastic students who were going to end up being fantastic adults, but they were rented a vehicle, a 2016 Chevy Cruz from Enterprise, which was made by General Motors,” he said. “We believe that due to some technical deficiencies… unbeknownst to them they were taken off the road into the San Antonio River, suffered horrible injuries and drowned. They did nothing wrong.”
Stewart added the the lawsuit isn’t about money. Its goal is to prevent future accidents.
The father of Oloba, Zaccheaus Oloba, said that his son aspired to be an engineer and that he hasn’t been himself since his death. He added that vehicles available to be rented should be maintained better to prevent accidents like these.
This isn’t the first time General Motors has been sued for manufacturing a defective vehicle. In December 2017, the company settled a lawsuit filed by Jenny Garneau, who claimed her daughter’s death in a 2012 car crash was due to the car’s airbags failing to inflate.
Paige Garneau died in the crash on Sept. 2. 2012 at Exit 17 of Interstate 93 in Canterbury. She was sitting in the passenger’s seat at the time and not wearing her seatbelt. She was thrown into the vehicle’s windshield and died at the hospital.
The amount of the settlement is sealed, but it’s enough to cover attorney’s fees and court costs.