Family of mother, daughter killed in crash sue Lyft

Irene and Kate Edwards (Family Photo)
Kate, left and her mother Irene Edwards (Family Photo)

ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — A local family is suing Lyft after a mother and daughter died in an October 2015 crash in Round Rock. They say their Uber driver was trying to access the Lyft app to schedule another ride when the driver made a left turn, pulling in front of another car. Irene Edwards and her daughter Kate were killed in the crash.

The lawsuit claims Lyft is responsible because its app allows drivers to access it while driving for other companies.

Loved ones say their loss could have been prevented. “The images are burned in my mind,” Clayton Edwards, Irene’s son, said. “That was the night that will live with me forever.”

The crash happened the night of his wedding rehearsal dinner. His mom, dad Rick, sister Kate and her fiance, David Foy, took an Uber to the Salt Lick in Round Rock. Clayton followed behind.

“I watched my mother lifeless, [being given] CPR, and then watching my dad I thought have a heart attack, and then watching my sister being taken away and… there’s nothing I could do about it,” Edwards said, crying. “So I went to the hospital and just watched her pass away.”

Foy says it’s the little things that made his fiance, Kate, happy. “How much our dog hated squirrels, that would make her smile for days,” he said. Foy was in the car during the crash.

“I kind of, out of the corner of my eye, saw our driver checking his phone and that’s when it happened,” he said. Edwards and his now wife summoned the strength to walk down the aisle a year after their original date.

He recalled, “Standing on the altar, looking down at my father staring at the ground, broken, crying and two empty seats next to him. It’s another burned image that I will never forget. I can’t get rid of.” Foy says, “I’m pushing on for her. It’s all I can do.”

And they’re all pushing for changes, to further prevent distracted driving.

“There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t have those images pop up in my head. Trouble sleeping. Trouble going to work. Trouble staying focused. Trouble being with friends. It’s something that can never be taken back. And to think that it could have been prevented by paying attention to the road and not being distracted by a stupid application on your phone,” Edwards said.

KXAN reached out to Lyft, which looked into the driver’s history. The company said the driver named in the lawsuit has never given a ride on the Lyft platform.

In a statement, it told us, “We are deeply saddened to hear about this tragic incident and our thoughts are with those involved.”

Lyft would not confirm a line in the lawsuit that says the company will no longer allow a driver to access their app while they are using another rideshare app.

The family’s attorney says they have reached a settlement with Uber, the company the driver was actually driving for at the time of the fatal crash. He said it’s important for the public to ask their rideshare driver not to use their phone while driving.

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