Articles Posted in Hit-and-Run Accidents

What 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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Victim 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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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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Every accident has a unique set of circumstances that requires a tailor-made strategy. During my 35 years in practice, I have seen many complex crashes involving uninsured, under insured, hit-and-run drivers and crazy ways wrecks can happen. My goal is to help my clients obtain the maximum possible recovery in all situations including the following.

Accident caused by uninsured driver

Some reports show that more than 20% of drivers in Texas do not carry the required liability insurance. Some drivers buy a month-to-month policy then stop making payments or exclude coverage on certain drivers, making the numbers hard to verify. But there are far too many people with no means to pay for the vehicle damage and personal injuries they cause.

After an accident with an uninsured driver, you may feel like you are left holding the bag. After all, a driver with no insurance likely also has not assets to collect on. But, you have options to recover your damages, including your medical bills and lost wages.

First, we look at your own insurance policies, such as personal injury policy (PIP) or uninsured/under insured motorists policy (UM/ UIM). We can pursue damages from a third party who may have contributed to your accident. In addition, we negotiate with your medical providers to your reduce doctors and hospital bills.

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A Qualified Personal Injury Lawyer Can Minimize the Adverse Impact on Your Health and Finances

Getting in a car wreck is bad enough, but when the driver is uninsured or flees the scene, you also can get stuck with thousands of dollars in medical bills, tow truck, storage, and car repair expenses.

An accident caused by an uninsured driver can hurt you for years to come. But you may have several options available to you to minimize the adverse effects.

Without question, you should hire an aggressive personal injury attorney. He or she will investigate the facts and hopefully find that the other driver was covered by an insurance policy. He will quickly determine whether your own auto insurance company has a duty to pay on your claim and then pursue the maximum amount of your coverage. Finally, he will investigate whether a third party may be liable for the accident — for example, an automobile manufacturer that produced a defective vehicle.

While pursuing your options for recovery, a good attorney will also negotiate with your medical providers to reduce your bills. This can save you thousands of dollars in medical bills. The lawyer can arrange for continued care since you may not have the means to pay for necessary medical treatments and rehabilitation.

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Husband Charged with Intoxication Manslaughter 

Here’s one of those stories that makes me angry: a 43 year-old woman tragically died early Sunday morning in a fiery car crash due to her intoxicated husband. The couple was involved in a single vehicle wreck at the 15200 block of State Highway 183 near the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport at around 2:30 a.m. 43 year-old Juan Salinas was behind the wheel when the truck swerved into a ditch. 

When police arrived, the truck was on fire. Good Samaritans pulled Juan from the truck and ran back to help his wife, Elva Salinas, but the truck was already engulfed in flames and they were unable to reach her. Elva was pronounced dead at the scene. 

Juan was transported to a local hospital for treatment of serious, but non-life threatening, injuries. Although he is expected to recover from his injuries, he will have to live with the fact that his decision to drive drunk resulted in his wife’s death. In addition, he faces intoxication manslaughter charges. I hope he gets a stiff sentence.

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Driver An Advocate For Injured Workers

An Austin couple was crossing a service road next to Interstate 35 last Saturday night when a black Porsche sped through a U-turn and struck the man. Police arrived to find the Ernesto Gonzales with head injuries and deep lacerations all over his body. 

The driver was nowhere to be seen, having fled the scene of the wreck. However a witness recorded the license plate of the hit-and-run vehicle, which police traced back to a residence.  Investigators matched the address to the house — also the office — of Brian White. 

Police found a damaged black Porsche with this license plate parked outside in his driveway. The windshield had a “basketball-sized indention, which was shattered, caved-in and had bits of blood and flesh imbedded in the broken glass.” The police report also describes blood and handprints on the driver’s side mirror and scuffs on the hood and front fender. 

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Man On Drugs Was Speeding at Up to 100 mph

While her mother and two of her children waited in the car, Sylvia Zazueta walked into the Star Food Mart to pay for gas and buy a drink for her son early on Tuesday afternoon. This ordinary act ended in tragedy when a speeding Chevrolet Avalanche truck barreled through the window of the store and landed on top of the 24 year-old Fort Worth woman. Medics rushed to pull the truck off her and she was rushed to John Peter Smith Hospital. She tragically died from critical injuries to her head, chest and extremities.

Seven others were also seriously injured in the crash, including one man who was pinned beneath the vehicle. 

P. J. Williams Only Receives Minor Traffic Citations

Leaving the scene of an automobile accident and driving on a suspended driver’s license are obviously against the law. Somehow star Florida State University cornerback P.J. Williams was not charged with either offense on October 5 when he fled the scene of an accident he caused while driving on a suspended license. The evidence also indicates that Mr. Williams may have been driving while intoxicated at the time of the car accident, typical of hit-and-run cases. 

Of course, Florida State was #1 last year and is again #1 in the polls. And you’ll remember the Jameis Winston debacle. At least Dallas Cowboy Josh Brent was prosecuted and convicted when he was DWI and killed his best friend in that horrible DWI wreck two years ago.

Police and University Cover-Up

Tallahassee police issued two traffic citations to Mr. Williams, but never began to question whether the football star had been drinking at a time when bars had just closed or why he fled the car crash. FSU police intervened, even though they had no jurisdiction in that area.

Tallahassee Police then deleted Williams’s case from its online data reporting and have delayed a court date so that any other legal action will take place after the national championship game.

This preferential treatment puts all drivers at risk and sends out terrible signals to others, especially young people.

Both Cars Totaled in Hit-and-Run Accident

Mr. Williams turned his Buick Century into the path of 18-year college student Ian Keith. Mr. Keith’s Honda S.U.V. spun out of control, the car crumpled and its airbags deployed. Both vehicles were totaled. Shaken, Mr. Keith waited for police to arrive. Only then did he realize the occupants of the Buick, including another cornerback, were gone. The law enforcement officers began a hit-and-run investigation.

But then Mr. Williams and his friends returned to the scene approximately 20 to 30 minutes later. Other football players, the director of player development for the FSU football program, and FSU campus police also showed up. In the end, the officers cited Mr. Williams with traffic infractions for improper turn and for “unknowingly” driving on a suspended license, but did not charge him with a crime. The incident did not even appear on the public online database as is the norm for police calls.

Hit-and-Run Football Player May Have Been Guilty of DUI

Mr. Williams’ auto accident occurred at 2.37am on a Sunday morning, right after the bars in Tallahassee had shut down and a numerous drunk drivers likely filed out onto the road. Not everybody driving at this hour had been drinking. The hard working Mr. Keith was on his way home from his job at the Olive Garden when Mr. Williams ran into him. However, police should surely be aware that drunk driving increases after last call on a Saturday night. When a driver flees the scene at this hour, police usually base their investigation on the presumption that the driver was drunk. But not here.

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