The wife of Texas Tech head football coach Tommy Tuberville could face criminal charges in the death of a man injured in a car accident over three months ago.
Ira Purdy, 87, who was injured when Suzanne Tuberville’s car struck his after she allegedly ran a red light, died Feb. 17, the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reported.
An attorney representing Purdy and his 73-year-old wife, Nelda Purdy, claimed the man was never able to recover from the injuries sustained in accident.
"The medical examiner was called in, they’re reviewing the case and we’re waiting for their findings," Lubbock attorney Bradley Pettit told the paper. "We’re very confident they will find that he died as a result of the injuries from the Nov. 1 accident."
Pettit told the paper he filed a claim with Tuberville’s insurance company, saying "we’re hopeful we’ll be able to resolve it with them," adding he would pursue a civil case if it went unresolved.
A criminal lawyer in Lubbock told Texas Tech student newspaper The Daily Toreador that state prosecutors can decide to charge people who run red lights with criminally negligent homicide or even manslaughter if the accident results in a death.
Sgt. Jonathan Stewart with the Lubbock Police Department told the Avalanche-Journal an investigation into the accident was still ongoing and that no charges had been filed. Stewart also said no citation was given at the time of the accident.
According to Pettit, Purdy’s life was completely altered by the accident. He was forced to move into an assisted living facility after undergoing 100 days of rehabilitation.
"He was in good condition before the accident," Pettit said. "(The Purdys) went out to eat that day, they took trips, they had an active lifestyle.
"But he went downhill since the accident. He couldn’t get over the injuries. It’s hard at that age when you have that kind of head trauma … you don’t heal as you do as a younger person."
The Tubervilles have not commented on the accident or potential criminal charges, but offered their condolences to the Purdy family through an athletic department spokesperson, according to the Avalanche-Journal.