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Passenger killed and driver charged with DWI in weekend accident

The driver in a fatal accident early Saturday morning has now been charged with intoxicated manslaughter, according to a report in the Houston Chronicle. The 27-year-old passenger was seriously injured in the crash and later pronounced dead at Ben Taub General Hospital.

According to police reports, at about 4:30 am on Saturday morning, the 28-year-old driver was headed south on Dowling near downtown when he ran a red light. The silver BMW he was driving then collided with a black Dodge Caliber that was traveling east on Polk. After crashing into the other vehicle, the BMW struck a tree and caromed off a brick building before hitting a telephone pole. The deceased passenger was riding in the backseat during the accident.

The news story did not report whether a blood alcohol concentration test or other means were used by the police to determine the driver's level of intoxication at the time of the crash.

The driver and the two other passengers in the BMW were taken to area hospitals for treatment. The driver of the other vehicle also required medical attention after the accident. Besides the deceased 27-year-old, all of the other individuals injured in the accident are expected to survive, according to the police.

Tragically, many fatalities that result from traffic accidents involve an intoxicated driver. According to statistics from Mothers Against Drunk Driving, nearly a third of all traffic deaths result from accidents in which a driver was intoxicated. Many thousands more are injured each year in alcohol-related traffic accidents.

Source: Houston Chronicle Man charged with DWI in fatal downtown wreck, Dale Lezon, January 24, 2011

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