A missing DWI manslaughter suspect was recently arrested in Katy, Texas. Garrett Bruce, 31 years old, had disappeared for one month before U.S. Marshall deputies traced him to Camping World, where he was staying with his wife and two children.
Bruce was initially charged with driving while intoxicated after a crash in December 2012 that killed another man. He was allegedly driving back from work at Papa John’s Pizza in Tarpon Springs with the other man as his passenger when he lost control of his Dodge Charger while driving at the speed of 70 miles per hour. Bruce’s car then struck a utility pole, and the passenger, who was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected through the car’s back window. The other man suffered head injuries and later died. Police found that Bruce’s blood alcohol level was nearly than twice the legal limit of .08.
Bruce was due to attend a court hearing for the manslaughter DWI charge when he and his family disappeared. Outsiders grew concerned when they could not locate Bruce’s wife, Jennifer. An investigation of their house did not reveal foul play, nor did it appear that the family had quickly gathered its belongings and left. The family car was still at their residence. However, investigators eventually learned that Jennifer Bruce had withdrawn their two children from school.
Bruce had been out of jail on a $100,000 bond and was supposed to be monitored by the bondsman by way of an ankle bracelet. However, Bruce found a way to have the bracelet removed.
The mother of the dead passenger expressed gratitude that Bruce had been found, claiming that there would finally be justice for her son. Bruce is expected to be extradited back to Pinellas County within 60 days.
Texas leads the nation in drunk driving deaths, with 1,213 fatalities recorded in 2011 and 1,296 fatalities in 2012. The 2012 fatalities represented 38% of all traffic deaths, a 7% increase from the year before. Meanwhile, alcohol-related crash injuries reached nearly 17,000 and alcohol-related crashes were over 25,000. Arrests of individuals involved in DWIs reached nearly 90,000. All of this costs Texas taxpayers $6 billion per year. Texans should not have to put up with such irresponsible, dangerous behavior. Those who are injured or who have lost loved ones to drunk driving accidents also have the option of filing a personal injury lawsuit to obtain relief. Through a successful suit, they can get medical costs, money for pain and suffering, and money for other losses, such as loss of income or loss of consortium.
I have been representing Texans injured in accidents for over 33 years. Located in Fort Worth and with offices throughout the Metroplex and in Houston, I only represent people who have been injured by accidents involving cars, trucks, 18 wheelers, bicycles and motorcycles — often hit by drivers who are DWI. If you want an experienced Board Certified Fort Worth personal injury attorney who will provide you with compassionate legal representation, contact my office today to schedule a free initial consultation.