The Donovan family (plaintiffs) was in a car accident in Dallas that was caused by a knocked over stop sign. The Donovans sued the City of Dallas (City) (defendant). At trial, the jury found that the sign had been knocked down by a third party, meaning the City was liable only if it failed to replace the sign within a reasonable time after being given actual notice. Ladd William Backhaus testified for the Donovans that a woman drove up to the scene of the accident a few minutes after it occurred. Backhaus stated that when the woman saw the injured Donovan children, “she was very excited or upset, she was emotional, her hands were shaking, and her voice was ‘crackling.’” Backhaus then testified, over the City’s objection, that the woman stated that a few days prior to the accident, she had informed the City that the stop sign was down. The trial court admitted the statement as an excited utterance. The jury found in favor of the Donovans. The City appealed.