Dallas/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on February 23, 2024
Carrollton Grandfather Succumbs to Injuries One Month After Home Explosion Linked to Gas LeakSource: Google Street View

A tragic event in Carrollton has culminated in the death of 51-year-old Sergio Valdez following a devastating home explosion last month. Valdez succumbed to his injuries on February 17, after fighting for his life in the hospital for nearly a month, as confirmed by an attorney for the family. He was a beloved family man, a grandfather who endured severe burns to his face and arms in the explosion that rocked his home on Highland Drive on January 20.

Jesus Garcia of Kherkher Garcia, LLP relayed to WFAA that Valdez's passing has deeply affected his loved ones, describing him as "a loving, dedicated husband, father, grandfather, and friend who will be dearly missed." The aftermath of the calamity hits with the weight of silenced histories in the small community of Carrollton, leaving behind a family now grappling with an irreversible void.

The deadly blast, initially linked to a gas leak beneath the bathroom by the Carrollton Fire Marshal, came on the heels of someone lighting a cigarette, igniting the leak and leading to the explosion. Despite the tragedy that befell Valdez, the rest of his family in the home were unharmed. A civil lawsuit was filed by the family against Atmos Energy, alleging responsibility for the incident.

In light of Valdez's death, his family's legal team has indicated an adjustment to their lawsuit against Atmos Energy, with Garcia clarifying to FOX 4 News a significant increase to the damages sought. "The impact to the family has tragically increased, therefore, the damages they are seeking will increase," Garcia stated. Although Atmos Energy was brought into the spotlight following the explosion, efforts to reach them for comment on the lawsuit and victim's death have been made by WFAA.

Carrollton Fire Marshal's office alongside Atmos Energy has launched an investigation into the explosion. This distressing event underscores ongoing concerns about residential safety and the responsibilities of utility providers to ensure their infrastructures do not pose a danger to the community. The Valdez family's pursuit of justice in this heartbreaking turn of events continues to unfold.