Orange woman found guilty of manslaughter, gets 5 years probation after striking, killing sanitation worker in 2018

After the crash, Derrick Cane lived for 30 minutes as witnesses tried to use belts as tourniquets to save his life.

ORANGE, Texas — A 21-year-old woman from Orange was sentenced to five years probation after she was found guilty Wednesday afternoon of manslaughter. 

Police said that Valyn Faulk was driving the car that struck the rear of a Waste Management garbage truck killing Derrick D. Cane, 28, of Beaumont, in November 2018 along Martin Luther King Drive in Orange. Cane was riding on the back of a garbage truck when he was struck, according to file stories.

A jury decided that Faulk, who was 18 at the time of the fatal wreck, should serve five years but recommended probation, according to Defense Attorney Ryan Getz.

Opening statements were heard on Monday morning. Prosecutor Bard Anderson said that Faulk did not apply the brakes at the time of the fatal crash.

After the crash, Cane lived for 30 minutes as witnesses tried to use belts as tourniquets to save his life. He was later transported to Christus Hospital St. Elizabeth, where he died from his injuries.

Bard claimed that Cane died because Faulk was not paying attention to the road saying in part, “she was looking at her own face, because she just had to touch up her makeup. That is why Derick is dead.”

After Bard finished his opening statements, the defense began theirs. Defense claimed the sun created a glare, and that Faulk was driving the speed limit at the time of the crash.

Cane was standing next to his truck on a busy highway where drivers are known to drive more than 50 mph, the defense claimed. It was noted that the nature of sanitation truck and delay in medical help contributed to Cane’s death.

Defense said there is no evidence that Faulk was on her cell phone or intoxicated. They also said the mirror in the vehicle was not down as if she was using it, disproving Bard’s claim of Faulk doing her makeup at the time of the crash.

A waste management driver who was in the truck at the time of the crash was the first witness to take the stand. She stated that the truck was impacted so hard that she was dazed and injured.

Derrick Cane’s mother took the stand on Wednesday to speak about the legacy her son left behind. She spoke directly Faulk saying that she forgave her before hugging her.

Closing arguments were heard on Wednesday afternoon.

This is a developing story. We will update with more if and when we receive more confirmed information.

Written by Cameron Sibert, Tiana Johnson (KBMT)

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