Williams sued by victims' families

| 4/18/2005

New York trucker Tyrone Williams, convicted in the smuggling deaths of 19 illegal immigrants in 2003, now faces a civil lawsuit by family members of his victims, the Houston Chronicle reported.

A jury convicted him in March on 38 charges, but deadlocked on charges that could have brought the death penalty. Prosecutors recently announced they intended retry him on those charges.

Williams is being sued in civil court by members of three families who lost relatives in his truck. More than 70 people were in his trailer when he abandoned the vehicle in Texas. Rising temperatures and a lack of oxygen caused 19 of those in the trailer to die.

Attorneys for the families said they intended to add more plaintiffs – and defendants – before May 14, the anniversary of the incident and the date when the statute of limitations to file suit runs out.