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SUNDAY, AUGUST 28, 2005
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Jury awards $29 million to family in fatal accident

COLUMBIANA (AP) — Jurors awarded $29 million to the estate of a man killed in a 2002 head-on collision with a dump truck driven by a man with methamphetamines in his system, trial testimony revealed.

Danny Lee Hendrix, 51, was speeding when his dump truck crossed the center line and collided with 36-year-old Timothy Douglas Robbins Sr.'s pickup. Blood tests taken after the crash showed that Hendrix was under the influence of methamphetamines, according to testimony in the Shelby County trial that ended Thursday.

Hendrix, who did not attend the trial, is serving a 20-year prison sentence related to the accident. Hendrix pleaded guilty to murder last October, according to court records that also show he pleaded guilty last year to trafficking in methamphetamine.

Representing the Robbins family, attorney David Marsh of Birmingham argued that speed, the dump truck's faulty brakes and Hendrix's inattention to the road and driving under the influence caused the June 14, 2002, wreck on Alabama 70.

Robbins and his teenage son were in the vehicle when the dump truck crossed the lane and ripped away the driver's section of Robbins' vehicle. The son survived.

Hendrix was driving for Hardway Hauling Inc. of Shelby County. Marsh represented Robbins' wife and children in their suit against Hendrix and the company.

Defense attorney Scott Harwell said the owner of Hardway Hauling was sorry the accident happened.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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