After two college students were killed in a mysterious car wreck nearly a year ago, the students' families are filing a lawsuit against the car maker and warning other drivers to stay away from the model.
The accusation is that two honor students from Texas A&M Kingsville – Ebenzer Oloba, 19, from Snellville, GA, and Oscar Fuentes, 23 – were killed this past February because the 2016 Chevy Cruze they had just rented was manufactured with defects.
The students’ families are filing a lawsuit, warning that everyone who drives the Chevy car is at risk.
Oloba and Fuentes had just rented the 2016 Chevy Cruze and were on their way to a student conference. Attorneys said Oloba was driving when, at about 2:00 p.m., the car accelerated suddenly and uncontrollably, veering off of a highway and into the San Antonio River. Both students were killed.
Oloba's and Fuentes' families and their attorneys held a press conference Monday to announce the lawsuit against General Motors, which manufactures the Chevy Cruze, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, which rented the car to the students, and eight other parties.
During the conference, Atlanta attorney Chris Stewart said, “They weren't able to stop and the vehicle wouldn’t slow down.”
Stewart said that’s one of three possible causes they say they’ve identified, claiming there are inherent problems with the 2016 Chevy Cruze.
And Stewart said evidence from the medical examiner's report and the police investigation into the wreck proves the students were not impaired, distracted, speeding or driving recklessly.
The attorneys said they are aware of three other instances of the models accelerating uncontrollably. That's out of 189,000 of that car sold in the U.S. But attorneys said they don’t know how many wrecks there have been that might have been due to possible inherent problems with the manufacturing – problems that police investigators might not have immediately identified.
A GM spokesman said the company had not yet been served with the lawsuit, and he was not familiar with the allegations, so he could not comment. 11Alive is waiting for a response from Enterprise.
Meanwhile, Oloba’s father Zaccheaus Oloba, said he hopes the lawsuit will save lives.
“My son, Ebenezer Oloba, is the pride of the family, he’s the one the family looks up to…It's so heartbreaking. We love him,” Zaccheaus said.
Stewart said they're not filing the lawsuit for money. “This lawsuit is being filed to protect everybody in this country that may have this vehicle,” he said.