Articles Posted in Hit-and-Run Accidents

Latest Fort Worth crash a shocking reminder of danger. 

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On Sunday morning several young women who had been celebrating a birthday in the Fort Worth Stockyards were walking back to their car near this iconic scene. But a truck speeding on North Main at 25th Street ran into Amber Underwood and Brooklyn Wammack and almost hit another woman.

The high-speed collision sent the two friends flying into the air, knocked them unconscious, and seriously injured them. The driver fled the scene — of course.

The Fort Worth Police Department has just asked the public to contact them to identity the hit-and-run driver of a 1998-2000 Ford 150 crew cab truck that is black on the top and bottom and tan through the center and has a missing headlight and a paper license tag in the back. There can’t be many trucks like that here. Call 817-392-4891 if you have any information.

Amber

Amber Underwood photograph courtesy of WFAA

I hope this criminal is found, sentenced to a lengthy jail term in a criminal court, and a judgment is taken against him or her in a civil court to pay the victims’ damages.

My wishes for a speedy recovery go out to the two young women.

It is ridiculously dangerous to cross a street in America or even be outside of a vehicle. A recent poll showed that Texas was the third worst in the U.S. for pedestrian deaths. Over 5,000 people are killed after being hit by a car or truck each year with 550 Texans among them.

What can you do if  you have been crashed into while you were a pedestrian or the other driver speeds away from a collision?  Continue reading

https://www.fortworthinjuryattorneyblog.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/233/2017/08/Screen-Shot-2017-08-09-at-12.09.48-PM.pngDriving While Shooting Encounters Show That Some In North Texas Are Still Living In The Wild West

Ever since the Lone Star State was founded in 1836 after a war with Mexico, we have been famous for being a gun-loving and sometimes dangerous place to live. Here in Fort Worth, shoot-outs in the Stockyards were common and Butch Cassidy and his gang hung out in “Hell’s Half Acre” (now downtown) when they weren’t robbing banks. There’s a reason our sports teams are named the Rangers, Cowboys, and Mavericks. We were the epicenter of the wild West — and still proud of it.

Today we in the Dallas-Fort Worth area are fortunately better known for our gracious hospitality, vibrant culture, booming economy, and numerous universities. But lately we have experienced an alarming resurgence of the wild West mentality on our highways.

220killed20on20I-2020in20Arlington-300x169It was another deadly weekend on the roads of North Texas. Unfortunately driving on our highways is getting more dangerous every year.

Here are a few of the sometimes astonishing automobile, truck, and motorcycle collisions and illegal activities that were reported in the news:

  • A Garland father on his motorcycle tragically died Monday night in Forney when a presumably DWI driver of an SUV swerving and speeding the wrong way on Highway 80 crashed into his bike. Fortunately his son who was riding with him — not to mention other people — was not hurt seriously.
  • A man tragically died in north Fort Worth Monday in a multi-vehicle pileup on N.E. Loop 820 near Mark IV Parkway at noon.
  • Three people were tragically killed in a collision early Monday morning at 1:45 PM. An 18-year-old man lost control of his car when he hit the guardrail in Arlington near Kelly Elliott Road on Interstate 20. The vehicle rolled over and he was ejected, killing him and his passenger. A good Samaritan who stopped also died when she was struck by a hit-and-run driver. That driver has contacted Arlington Police and is cooperation with its investigation.
  • The new Dallas Cowboys cornerback, Nolan Carroll, was arrested Monday morning for DWI. He was pulled over after committing a traffic violation on McKinney Avenue in the bar-heavy Uptown area of Dallas around 2:15 AM after overindulging at a nightclub which had used him to promote a big party. Not that these guys can’t afford it (Carroll signed a $10 million contract) but the Cowboys offer a free Uber ride to their players who need assistance leaving bars, a good idea after this player’s death several years ago in a terrible tragedy.
  • A Dallas police officer’s car plunged 30 feet from an overpass Monday after a pickup truck ran a light and crashed into the officer’s car on South Westmoreland Road in west Dallas. Several people gallantly jumped into a creek to save the officer. He was in critical condition but fortunately is now reported as stable. Police are searching for the driver of the 2007 white Chevrolet Silverado pickup that hit him.

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HR-2-150x150Apparently local drunk drivers still haven’t gotten the memo that fleeing a car wreck is a bad idea, especially here in the Dallas Fort Worth area.

Intoxication is one of the biggest reasons drivers speed off from the scene of a crash. They seem to believe they will not get caught, and if they do, they won’t get a DWI conviction.

Where this assumption might have been true in the past, police now have ever better tools for tracking down and arresting hit-and-run drivers. Cameras and cell phones that produce higher resolution images are everywhere. Law enforcement has better technology and techniques for identifying vehicles through paint splotches and auto parts inevitably left behind at the crash scene.HR4-150x150

And social media spreads the word quickly to witnesses. We just contacted several critical eyewitnesses thanks to photos posted by a local TV station to its website.  Here are two photos of my client’s cars in hit-and-run cases I’ve handled recently.

Yes, some hit-and-run drivers do get away with it. But at least those who are arrested face harsher penalties than drunk drivers.

This was not always the case. In the past, an intoxicated driver who seriously or fatally injured somebody might flee and lay low until he sobered up. If he were subsequently convicted of a hit-and-run, he would get a slap on the wrist.

Texas lawmakers passed a sensible hit-and-run law in 2013 that increase the penalties to do away with the incentive for drunk drivers to take off.
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It  was another incredibly dangerous weekend on our North Texas roads. Intoxicated and hit-and-run drivers killed or injured innocent drivers in Dallas- Fort Worth. These were just the crashes reported in the newspapers:

  • At 9:35 p.m. on Friday, a Ford Focus hit a Kia Sportage, sending it over a guardrail and down a hill. The Kia driver was ejected from his car and died on the scene. The Focus driver was later determined to be under the influence of drugs and was charged with intoxication manslaughter.
  • A hit-and-run in Richardson just before 11 p.m. on Friday night left a motorcyclist with a broken arm. The northbound driver was changing lanes near Prestonwood Drive when they hit the motorcyclist. Police have no leads on the driver.
  • Early Saturday morning an Arlington police officer was treated for injuries after being involved in a crash with a suspected drunk driver. The officer was working to re-open lanes of I-30 after overnight construction.
  • Note that this is only one of the 10 DWI arrests made in Arlington Saturday night. This compares to a typical weekend night of four to six driving while intoxicated arrests, still a ridiculous number.
  • At 9 p.m. Saturday in Dallas, a man died after his speeding SUV spun out of control and careened into a ditch, ejecting him from the car. The driver was not wearing a seat belt and alcohol presumably played a role in the crash.
  • A collision on Berry Street in Fort Worth early Sunday morning tragically killed a woman and left a child critically injured.
  • Early Sunday morning, a wrong-way driver killed a man on I-30 in Grand Prairie. At around 5 a.m. a woman driving east in the westbound lane struck another car, killing its driver on the scene and shutting down I-30 for nearly five hours. The woman is in critical condition and police suspect alcohol was involved.
  • Note that this accident is the second fatal accident in January in Grand Prairie.

These are just a few of the hundreds of accidents across North Texas in January.

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1027 suspect 1_1477591841359_6651464_ver1.0Two women were sitting outside of a restaurant in Flower Mound last week when a black Kia suddenly jumped the curve and crashed into the women! And as if this weren’t horrible enough, the driver fled the scene.

Because of video camera footage (shown here), the driver was easy to identify. The 46-year-old man finally turned himself into police yesterday.

Let’s hope he gets nailed in the criminal and civil courts. It would only be fair that he serves time, he/his insurance company pays a large civil judgment, he loses his driver’s license, and/or has to pay much higher rates through the high risk Texas Automobile Insurance Plan.

Stories like this — there are hundreds each year in Dallas-Fort Worth — anger me  My firm is currently representing clients in four of these cases.  In one we just were hired on, my injured client and four men in the other car were taken to JPS Hospital and they walked out the door.  In another, a car crashed into my client’s car at a light in Arlington and the at-fault driver and his passenger ran away on foot.

Outrageous, right?

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Heckert_Ft 2What if you’re driving on I-30 and get rear ended — and then the other car speeds away?

Don’t think this happens here? Last night a man rammed his truck into another car in north Fort Worth and peeled out only to flip it over and die.

I’ve been representing people hurt in these hit and run cases for 36 years in Fort Worth and this is the craziest ending to one I’ve heard of.

Why do drivers flee the scene of a crash?

They panic. They want to avoid civil liability and criminal prosecution. They know they may be jailed, sued in civil court, cancelled from their insurance policy, and/or pay a higher rate. They may have a prior criminal record, be drunk or stoned, and/or have no insurance.

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jim-terry_1467735294547_3761317_ver1.0-1Victim on his way to work; driver on his way home from drinking

Denton County jail Officer Jim Terry was riding his motorcycle to work on Sunday when he was hit by a car. The driver of that car, Oscar Salmaron, then sped off.

Terry’s colleagues at the Denton County Sheriffs Department quickly arrested 42 year-old Salmaron. No surprise, he was drunk.

The intoxicated man was also responsible for another hit-and-run crash just before barreling into Terry’s motorcycle.

Terry remains in critical condition, with multiple fractures and other extensive injuries that will require surgeries and extensive rehabilitation, according to a GoFundMe account set up by his coworkers at the Denton County jail.

Salmaron was brought to the Denton County jail on charges of intoxication assault with a vehicle causing serious bodily injury and fleeing the scene of a crash. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has also placed a hold on him.

On a related subject, I just met a young man to give him his substantial settlement proceeds. He was injured by an intoxicated driver who had spent all afternoon watching his LSU football team play in a bowl game.

In addition, I was just called to represent a young woman critically injured by her drunk driver in Dallas this weekend. She is still in ICU.

These stories — all too routine around Dallas-Fort Worth these days — anger me.

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Brandie Gage posted this Facebook photo after her husband Trevor Gage was killed in hit-and-run crash.

Trevor Gage was killed in a hit-and-run crash (shown here with his wife)

Road Rage Claims One Of Our Finest

Yesterday a White Settlement firefighter tragically died after his motorcycle was intentionally struck by a pickup truck on Spur 341 the day before.

If this weren’t horrifying enough, the hit-and-run driver then sped off without stopping to check on the young man who selflessly helped people in need every day.

Police are looking for the driver, a Mexican-American man with slicked-back hair, as well his black Ford F-150 Super Crew pick-up truck with scrape marks along the passenger side bed of the truck.

The truck driver had chased the firefighter and another motorcyclist for miles down Interstate 30, starting near my office building on University, before trying to run over both of them.

The 30 year old man left behind a wife and three children. One has medical problems. A go fund me account has been set up to pay for his family’s expenses. I urge others to also contribute.

Texas law requires driver to stop at crash scene

A driver who flees faces felony criminal charges if the crash causes injuries or death. Texas passed a law increasing the penalties of hit-and-run crashes several years ago after lawmakers finally acknowledged that a drunk driver had the opportunity to sober up and avoid a DUI charge — or escape jail altogether.

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Another deadly crash in North Texas

Early on Sunday morning, the life of a beautiful 21-year-old woman who had just moved to Dallas was cut short on Central Expressway. She was a passenger in a car driven by her best friend when they were struck by a driver, possibly drunk.

After they got out on the median, an Audi hit the young woman. That driver fled the scene but police found the abandoned Audi and arrested another 21-year-old. Here’s the article from the Dallas Morning News about this tragic intoxication manslaughter crash.

What happens if the family of the deceased woman has to file a lawsuit against driver to recover the estate’s damages and she refuses to cooperate with her insurance company or her liability carrier claims that she is excluded from coverage based on a technicality?

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