A shocking news investigation out of East Texas shows that officers allowed a drunk driver to leave the scene of a traffic stop on Interstate 20 in 2011. That man, who caused a drunk driving accident 40 minutes after being pulled over, was allowed to get back on the road after an initial evaluation. Dash camera evidence from that encounter was finally released, and relatives of the crash victim say they are hurt and confused by the information. The victim’s family members have filed suits against both the trooper and the nightclub that they say over-served the at-fault driver on the night of the crash. A judge has recommended that the family drop the case against the trooper.
News organizations say that the Department of Public Safety has obstructed efforts to obtain the dashboard camera video of that initial encounter, even though it is considered public record. For several months, East Texas residents were refused their right to see the contents of the video. The Texas Attorney General eventually ruled that the video must be surrendered to news groups in the area.
Official reports show that the victim in this case was killed in a wrong-way crash on Aug. 20, 2011. Shortly before that fatal drunk driving accident, a trooper pulled the at-fault driver over for speeding; he was allegedly traveling 85 mph in a 65 mph zone. The trooper is seen interviewing the driver about the fact that he does not have a driver’s license and that he was speeding. The trooper initiated a field sobriety test, but he did not finish it. Ultimately, the man was allowed to leave the traffic stop despite obvious signs of intoxication.
Family members in such situations deserve to have their questions answered, and they deserve justice for their deceased relatives. These victims may benefit from the assistance of a Texas personal injury attorney. Financial damages may be collected for wrongful death, including compensation for funeral costs, pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of consort and a variety of other claims.
Source: KLTV, “KLTV 7 Investigation: 40 Minutes Ago; When DPS let a drunk driver go” Melanie Torre, Mar. 05, 2014