While standing in the security line at Houston’s William P. Hobby Airport to catch an early flight on Thursday, former state district Judge Levi Benton extended his hand and warmly greeted one of Texas’ greatest trial lawyers, John M. O’Quinn.

Benton could not have known it would be the last time he would see him. O’Quinn, 68, of Houston’s The O’Quinn Law Firm, died in a car accident later that morning. “I started to say, ‘John, why are you flying Southwest? Where’s your plane? Why are you going through the security like the rest of us guys?’ says Benton, now a partner in the Houston office of Strasburger & Price who was on his way to Dallas for a partner meeting.

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