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Attorney says U-Haul playing hardball after truck crashes through house, injures man

HOUSTON – A local chef who was injured when a driver in a U-Haul truck plowed through his bedroom said he's having trouble getting answers and help from the company.

The crash happened around 4 a.m. on March 8 at the intersection of Sharondale Drive and Westover Street in southeast Houston.

James Rucker was laying in bed when the truck came crashing inside his home.

"He came over my legs," Rucker said.

Rucker was underneath the truck and covered with debris, but the driver made no attempt to help him and ran away from the scene.

"The dude jumps and opened the door and before he got out the truck he was like, 'Man get up, the truck's about to blow,' and I was like, 'Oh no,'" Rucker said.

The truck stopped just feet away from his 16-month-old daughter's crib in the next room.

"So I'm thinking I have to get my daughter, so I scream for help and my neighbor next door, he helped get her," Rucker said.

The toddler was OK, but Rucker was taken to the hospital for several injuries to his back, arms and legs. He's now walking with a cane and taking a slew of medications.

"That pain is some pain I never experienced before," Rucker said.

Attorney Matt Stano is representing Rucker and said they're having a hard time getting answers from the company.

U-Haul said the truck was not stolen, but isn't providing other crucial information, according to Stano.

"This was their vehicle, they entrusted it to someone and they're not even letting us know who this person is. They're being very tight-lipped and that can happen, they do have a role in this so we're gonna file a lawsuit and we're going to get justice," Stano said.

Stano said U-Haul has a responsibility to uphold, but is worried the company's insurance coverage may not be enough to cover Rucker's expenses.

"They've indicated there may be minimal coverage which you think about it it's pretty alarming that U-Haul, which has thousands of vehicles on the road with people renting them and yet they have minimal coverage," Stano said.

Rucker, who in 2017 was awarded a proclamation from Mayor Sylvester Turner for his service to the community,  said his homeowner's insurance policy expired shortly before the incident so he's not sure how he will be able to afford the massive repairs needed on his home.

U-Haul released a statement to KPRC2 Thursday that read, "As your inquiry is regarding a pending legal matter and an active police investigation, we will not be offering comment. U-Haul employs a robust investigations unit that works closely with law enforcement in addressing wrongful activity with rental equipment. Any information on the incident should come from the investigating officer."

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