Driver in deadly car show files for bankruptcy protection

The driver in a deadly car show crash in Selmer has filed for bankruptcy protection in Texas which means the families who filed wrongful death lawsuits against him may never see a dime.

Troy Warren Critchley filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in federal court last week.

Critchley, an Australian drag racer now based in Wylie, Texas, is named as a defendant in a dozen pending lawsuits that total about $100 million.

Critchley's high-powered vehicle swerved off a street and hit bystanders lining the highway for an annual Cars for Kids charity event on June 16.

Six people died and 23 were hurt. Critchley was slightly injured.

Critchley has said he believed the road had been inspected and approved for the burnout exhibition he was performing.

Now, attorneys are wondering where the money for their clients will come from. Attorneys say news of Critchley's bankruptcy filing is a devastating blow to the victims and their families.

"The truth is I've been doing this 30 years I've never seen anything quite like this," says Attorney Lewis Cobb.

Cobb is the attorney representing the family of Scarlet Repogle, one of the six people killed.

Critchley's bankruptcy filing puts a hold on the lawsuits filed against him. What's worse, says Cobb, is that no one has admitted to owning the car or employing Critchley.

"You know he's got a car with these huge signs painted on the side of it. When we start talking to the people representing him they say no, no, not us, not us," adds Cobb.

Cobb is worried that the ownership of the car might be been placed in the name of a Shell Corporation that has no assets.

A bankruptcy trustee will make sure he doesn't move any money.

"And bear in mind if he has the financial resources to satisfy the obligation then the bankruptcy court will force him to do that," says Alan Crone with Crone and Mason, PLC.

Attorneys for the victims know Critchley probably doesn't have the cash to settle their claims. "He didn't own the car and didn't make the deal to appear there and he doesn't have a billion dollar business," adds Cobb.

But those who represent the victims hope the people who put Critchley behind the wheel on that deadly day will be held accountable for their decision.

The fact that Critchley filed for bankruptcy in Texas will make it more difficult and expensive for local attorneys to monitor.

But Lewis Cobb says he isn't giving up. He will keep trying until the victims he represents get some relief.


to email Anna Marie Hartman.