Articles Tagged with wrongful death

Drinking and Driving

Sunday morning in Fort Worth, a one vehicle collision caused six people to die at 2:00 a.m. – when the nearby bars were closing – on Northside Drive. A truck speeding out of control failed to negotiate a turn and crashed into a tree. Even a homeless man died. And this heartbreaking story was not even the only fatal DWI crash in DFW that day.

Later that evening, a 17-year-old passenger in a masssive car wreck went into labor and delivered a stillborn child. Her driver was speeding on Great Southwest Parkway when he blew through a red light and crashed into a pickup truck. That driver and his two passengers who were in their 70s were seriously injured. What makes this story even more maddening is that the car driver, who was only 17, was driving while intoxicated and didn’t even have a driver’s license.

What is going on out there?

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Drunk DrivingCarolyn Davis died and her daughter is in critical condition after a Mazda SUV crashed head-on into their car. The horrific wreck in Oak Cliff is just the latest DWI crash in North Texas.

And here is an even worse part of this story, if that is possible. The drunk driver, a 36-year-old man, had already been arrested at least three times for DWI. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison after his most recent conviction. But the sentence was suspended because he agreed to drive a vehicle that had an ignition interlock device. Just last week, he completed his probation and the device was removed from his vehicle. This tragedy was a few days later.

UPDATED 7/18 – This tragedy worsened when Melissa Lashan Davis-Nunn died last night in the hospital. The drunk driver has been charged with two counts of intoxication manslaughter. The drunk told police that he had taken Xanax and claimed he was riding with two others, although no other passengers were found at the scene. and was joking with a nurse that he was there for a penile enhancemenet procedure.

As we are often wondering on this blog, what in the world is going on out there? And how can we keep the same catastrophes from happening again?

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BLOG-W-FT-W-CRASH-FRIDeadly car and truck accidents happen across the DFW area almost every day. One happened near our office last week when an SUV rolled over on I-30 which critically injured several people and took the life of a 22-year-old woman. Here’s a photograph from the scene. And on Sunday night, two people were ejected from a truck in a rollover accident east of Dallas. Since rollovers accidents have the highest fatality rate of any collision, this is an important public safety topic for all of us.

Causes of rollover accidents

Rollovers happen for a number of reasons and are more complex from a liability viewpoint than other vehicle accidents.

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When three drivers are speeding at 100 mph, a deadly crash is inevitable

There is no excuse for driving too fast. Anytime you do, you put yourself, your passengers, and every one else on the road at tremendous risk. People who speed will crash into other vehicles at a much higher rate of speed, set off violent chain reactions, and cause injuries and even deaths. These become heart-breaking stories, like what happened recently in a Dallas crash that tragically ended the life of a 9-year-old girl.

Olivia Mendez was in a car that was making a left turn at Lake June Road in Dallas. She had just graduated from her school that evening and was almost home. But three muscle cars were speeding down the road from the other direction. The driver of a Dodge Challenger couldn’t stop in time and slammed into the girl’s car, throwing her from it. Her parents and her 3-year-old sister were also seriously injured. The police arrested the three racers and I hope they get long sentences. But nothing can replace the life of this sweet young child. We made a donation to the family’s GoFundMe site and hope you can as well.

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fort-worth-car-crash12 road fatalities in Fort Worth and Dallas area in just the last 5 days! (Edited)

It is shocking that over 3,500 people die on Texas roads each year — many of them here in North Texas. These stories are heart-breaking:

1. Yesterday a crash between an 18-wheeler and a Corvette sadly claimed the life of a 26-year-old man in Fort Worth. Two others were injured, one critically. The crash shut down Loop 820 in the eastbound direction near the I-35 interchange for hours. It is not known what caused the crash.

I send my condolences and prayers to the man’s family and to the victims. I was chilled to read about this crash since I filed a lawsuit several years ago against the large company responsible for the death of a man at almost that same location and went there several times to investigate the scene.

2. Last night in south Dallas, a pick up truck driver ran a light, crashed into a SUV making a left turn at an intersection, and took the lives of a mother and her 6-year-old son. The young man driving the truck was DWI. He faces intoxication manslaughter charges.

3. Earlier yesterday a traffic wreck in south Grand Prairie caused another fatality when a driver lost control of his car on a wet road and collided head-on onto an oncoming car.

4. On Sunday two people lost their lives in a Glen Rose crash.

5. And I am helping the family of a woman who was killed in Dallas several weeks ago and two other people who were injured, one seriously. A man who was DWI — at only 4:00 in the afternoon — crashed into the three women as they were getting out of their car. The drunk fled the scene. Fortunately he was apprehended and is in the Dallas County jail. Since he only has the standard liability policy and there is only a standard underinsured policy, I am representing the family and victims at no charge. I hope that he is given a long prison sentence.

Updated Friday:

6. Yesterday afternoon, two young men died in Dallas when one of them was drag racing with another car and lost control, causing him to hit a guard rail and bounce off into oncoming traffic.

7. And last light a violent crash on I-20 in Arlington was caused by an intoxicated driver who ran off the road and hit two people — a young woman and her father who had come to rescue her — who were standing outside her car. They and another person inside the car lost their lives. The cars exploded and a fire storm erupted that could have caused more deaths. As if this tragedy were not devastating enough, a police officer rushing to the scene was involved in a collision and seriously injured.

8. Today a Grand Prairie Police officer was standing outside of his patrol vehicle with his radar gun out when he was tragically struck and killed by a 17-year-old kid racing a sports car on the George Bush Turnpike in broad daylight.

What in the world is going on out there? The wrongful death count on DFW roads is out of control.

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highway-crashThis weekend’s fatal crashes on I-35 show the need for increased safety measures

North Texas highways are unfortunately the scene of many serious injury and fatal car and truck crashes. Just in the past two days, a tragic Fort Worth accident took the life of a woman on I-35 near Rosedale Street on Friday night. And last night, a Dallas crash sadly took the life of a woman who was not able to avoid hitting a disabled SUV on I-35 near Medical District Drive north of downtown. This weekend reinforced why drivers should try to avoid driving on interstates if possible, especially at night.

Since all of our local highways are more jammed than ever with cars, trucks and 18-wheelers due to our region’s explosive growth, the only possible answer for why I-35 is so dangerous is increased trade due to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). As a result, we have more and more commercial trucks driving up and down the the highway to deliver goods from Mexico. And we have more trucks because of increased deliveries from purchases from Amazon and other online merchants. Plus it seems that I-35 is always under construction, at least here in Fort Worth where we have been in the midst of a frustrating widening for the past five years.

Adding to these perils, tractor trailers and other large commercial trucks drive with relative impunity. We see them tailgating and trying to run drivers off the road, speeding, failing to stay in their lanes – presumably because the driver is texting while driving or at least using his cell phone in violation of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations – and driving while being exhausted. You rarely seem them pulled over for doing this. I call on Texas law enforcement to increase the number of patrol officers and other traffic safety techniques to make truck drivers obey traffic laws.

I also urge our state legislators to fix these problems. The Texas Tribune described several proposed laws that would help remedy this embarrassing title. None of these bills is apparently going to pass in the legislature days from concluding its biennial session.

Dallas interstates are especially dangerous and lead to far too many wrongful deaths. Most were listed in the top 100 deadliest highways list, with I-35 being one of the highest in the country at #13 and I-45 right behind it at #14.

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The latest DWI deaths in Texas hit home on Saturday night when a Frisco family driving on I-35 south of Austin was crashed into by a Dodge pickup. Two beautiful sisters, Hayden Weissman, who was 18, and Peyton Weissman, who was 16, tragically lost their lives. Their father, his girlfriend, and another sister were also injured.

Payton-Weissman-and-Hayden-Weissman

To make this horrific crash even more maddening, Macario M. Hernandez, 61, ran away from the scene. Fortunately he was apprehended and is in the Hays County jail with a bail set at $250,000. At least he’s not getting back on our highways any time soon. Still worse, if that is possible, Hernandez had been arrested for DWI a shocking three times in the past.

This is infuriating. How does this keep on happening? And how can we stop the never-ending pattern of this never-ending carnage on our highways?

MC-before-crash-BLOG-B-LeongFort Worth Fatal Motorcycle Crash Controversial

A 30-year-old man was riding his bike when he hit another vehicle at an intersection last week. Tragically, Da’Ron Miller was the victim of another fatal motorcycle crash here. We have far too many of these deadly crashes. Sadly, 501 people drivers and passengers lost their lives last year according to statistics from the Texas Department of Transportation. The police found that Mr. Miller was to blame. But according to this article in the Star Telegram, there is a heated dispute about whether another driver was at fault.

According to witnesses, Mr. Miller had just left a charity car wash by himself when a woman cut in front of him. The police officers did not interview these people.

Based on the woman’s account, the police said that Mr. Miller was speeding in a group of cyclists and that the crash was 100% his fault.

The investigating officers obviously did not witness the collision (although they were down the street investigating another motorcycle crash). And people sometimes have preconceived ideas about who is at liable, especially when a young man is riding a motorcycle.

The police are now saying that they want to talk to these eyewitnesses. A lawsuit for the wrongful death of Mr. Miller will presumably have to be filed to find out what really happened.

There was a similar motorcycle crash yesterday in Arlington. A 23-year-old man riding his motorcycle on New York Avenue died after a woman in a SUV suddenly cut in front of him.

And on Thursday there was another death arising out of a car accident in Fort Worth that was either caused by road rage or a suicide.

Sometimes it is clear who caused a motorcycle, car, or truck collision, but other times it is not. Crashes happen in the blink of an eye. Legal questions about fault, damages, and payment of damages are common. Continue reading

Glaring lapses in public safety were revealed by a horrific New York limo crash last week. The New York governor said that the vehicle and its driver were not legally allowed to even be on the road. As a result, 20 people lost their lives. The crash marks the deadliest transportation collision in our country since 2009. We must take stronger action to prevent disasters like this from happening in the future. Continue reading

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