Dallas police arrested a man suspected of striking and killing a seven-year-old girl in a Northeast Dallas neighborhood earlier this week. Julius Sears, 29, has been charged with a second-degree felony of an accident involving injury or death. He is currently being held in jail on a bond of $250,000.
The tragedy occurred on Tuesday night, when Melany Valdez was walking with her mother, sisters, and grandmother back to their apartment, after going to another complex to offer prayers to a saint. They were on Hemlock Avenue crossing the street when a Chrysler 300 struck the little girl. The driver kept driving without ever bothering to stop and see whether the girl was all right, even though the girl’s grandmother screamed at him to stop.
Witnesses described the girl as bleeding heavily from the head. A family friend tried unsuccessfully to get the girl to respond. Another driver stopped and aided the family, taking them and the girl to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas. The girl was later pronounced dead. What a heartbreaking story.
Two witnesses chased the driver in their car. They tailed him to an apartment complex located on Abrams Road. The driver took off, but they wrote down the car’s license plate number and gave it to police. This led to an intense police search and the arrest of Sears. Sears had raised suspicions when, moments before the police showed up, he called a used car lot manager “in a panic” asking for new tags. The manager knew that something was wrong Police believe that Sears was about to flee Dallas. Sears already had a lengthy criminal record.
Meanwhile, the girl’s family is struggling to cope with her loss. At present, they cannot afford funeral expenses.
I am going to the Rufino Mendoza Elementary School, which I adopted nine years ago, later today to mentor the after-school club and walk with the children as they prepare for next Saturday’s Zoo Run, and this story will be in my heart as I talk to the children.
It is unthinkable that a driver could strike someone and keep driving without considering the person’s condition. Unfortunately, it seems to happen with alarming frequency. Consider the recent tragedy in Austin.
When this type of situation happens, many families have no alternative except to file a wrongful death lawsuit in addition to whatever criminal charges the driver faces. Whether the family collects anything depends on whether the driver has insurance or any assets, or whether they can sue someone else who does. If so, whatever monetary award they receive could help them pay medical expenses, funeral expenses, for pain and suffering, and for loss of consortium, even though that would not begin to make up for the loss of their loved one.
I have been representing Texans injured in accidents for over 33 years. With my main office in Fort Worth and with branch offices throughout the Metroplex and one 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.