64 year-old Michael Doyle ran into and killed 48 year-old Angel Soto at 11:00 in the morning on Tuesday in North Richland Hills. Doyle was drunk — at 11 A.M. –when he lost control of his Jeep Grand Cherokee and jumped the curb, hitting the landscape worker who was in a yard mowing grass.
In another horrific crash, a 26-year-old Grapevine man drove his silver Toyota SUV west in the eastbound lane of Texas Highway 114 and collided head on with a 52 year-old Fort Worth man driving a Pontiac. Both men died. Although investigators have not yet released the cause of the accident, alcohol had to have been involved. The victim had just moved to DFW from Seattle to take a job here.
More DWI crashes: a drunk 20 year-old man killed his friend who was a passenger in his vehicle on an Austin road recently. And a 42 year-old husband and wife were killed when a drunk driver ran a red light and crashed in to their motorcycle in Colony, Texas. And a drunk driver fatally struck a 37 year-old motorcyclist in Corpus Christi. And a Midland police officer miraculously survived when his cruiser was totaled by a drunk driver who ran a stop sign.
Texas leads the nation in drunk driving deaths. We’ve all heard our former governor brag about “the Texas Miracle” (job growth). DWI deaths is a statistic you don’t hear our state leaders mention, let alone do much to curb.
Don’t think this affects you? Just here in Dallas and Tarrant Counties in 2014, there were over 3,000 collisions caused by drunk drivers — that’s over eight a day — and 121 people were killed!
What in the hell is going on out there?
DWI Fatalities Are The New Norm
While reading these news accounts, I am struck at how little attention is paid to them. This is not because people don’t care, but because drunk and drug driving deaths have become so commonplace as to warrant only a short paragraph in the metro news. But DWI defense lawyer billboards are everywhere.
Only high-profile cases, like the “Affluenza Teen” saga that I was involved in representing one of the victims, are considered newsworthy, and even then the victims’ stories tend to get lost in the news spectacle.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) estimates that 27 people die every day in DWI crashes in the U.S and hundreds more people sustain life-altering injuries. As one of the MADD-approved attorneys, I see more than my share of these catastrophes.
For every drunk driver who destroys a life, thousands more drunk drivers simply got lucky that she or he arrived home without hitting innocent motorists or pedestrians.
Although DUI crashes have become the norm, for the victims and their families, these horrible incidents are anything but. During my 35 years helping auto accident victims recover damages, I have witnessed the indescribable losses caused by drunk drivers. Not a day goes by that the victim’s family doesn’t feel the tremendous heartbreak after their loved one was killed by a drunk driver. A survivor must live with permanent pain, disability and emotional turmoil.
I hope that one day drunk driving is so rare that it inspires the shock and horror it deserves – not the blind eye it receives now.