FORT SMITH, Ark. — It was a normal Sunday morning for 88-year-old Lucy Hershel who was on her way to church as she traveled northbound on N 8th Street in Fort Smith.
As Hershel arrived at the intersection of N 8th and P St, her vehicle was t-boned and flipped. The driver who struck Hershel was George Curtis of Razorback Cab. The original complaint to the court said Curtis was driving eastbound when he failed to stop at a stop sign resulting in the accident.
Hershel was never the same says her lawyers, William and Ashleigh Buckley. “It was a complete abrupt 180 in her life,” said A. Buckley.
“Before the wreck, she was an independent 88-year-old. She could sit down, she went dancing, she paid her own bills, she was an active member of the Fort Smith community,” said W. Buckley. “What this wreck did was make her a completely different person.”
In the months and years since the accident, Hershel and her team attempted to settle with Razorback Cab but eventually took the case to the Sebastian County Circuit Court.
Last month, a ruling was made.
After failing to produce counsel, Curtis and Razorback Cab Company owner, Sheila Roller, the court found the company in default and liable for damages. The court awarded Hershel $250,000 in damages, which have yet to be paid.
In the Writ of Execution that 5NEWS obtained, as of March 1, 2022, no payment had been made to Hershel and her team looked for a way to find compensation.
“We started looking at other ways we could collect since they didn’t follow the law the way they were supposed to,” said W. Buckley.
As a result, the Sebastian County Sheriff’s Department was ordered to seize 30 vehicles from Razorback Cab. The vehicles and other equipment seized will be put up for auction on May 23. All proceeds will be given to Hershel.
Hershel’s attorneys say they are thankful the case is closed, but say this is more than the money that is still owed.
5NEWS reached out to Razorback Cab Company owner, Sheila Roller who issued the following statements:
“Razorback Cab would like to thank the many people who rode with us for 45 years, our valued employees and cab drivers that worked with us for many years. We are grateful for being able to serve Fort Smith and the surrounding area. Thank you, Fort Smith."
"It's all public knowledge, I've lost a 45-year family-owned business and 18 people lost their jobs because a deal could not be reached, I tried to come to an agreement with the attorney but he chose to shut the business down, maybe the story should be what is the city going to do about people who need transportation that can't ride the bus with no more than 2 bags and check with the other taxi business to see if they are going by the taxi guidelines."
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