Traffic accidents involve people from all walks of life. Some victims are rich, some are famous, but most are ordinary people who were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Even a judge’s robes may not be adequate protection against the damages caused by a drunk driver. A recent accident east of Dallas shows how even a judge can become the victim of drunkenness on the part of another person.
According to Royse City Police, the judge was driving westbound on Interstate Highway 30 when he was struck by a vehicle heading east in the westbound lane. The driver who is believed to have been intoxicated struck two vehicles. The judge’s car burst into flame at the moment of impact, and the judge was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the other car was not injured.
The wrong way driver was treated for minor injuries and released from the hospital. She was then arrested by police and charged with Intoxication Manslaughter, a second degree felony. She was incarcerated in the Hunt County Jail, with bond set at $150,000. The cause of the accident continues to be investigated by the Royse City Police Department Accident Investigation Unit.
The defendant in this case is facing very serious criminal charges in connection with the death of the judge. (The penalties do not increase merely because the decedent is a judicial officer; his death, or the death of any person caused by an intoxicated driver, can trigger serious criminal charges.) If convicted she will face a significant period of imprisonment, a substantial fine and a suspension of driving privileges. Anyone facing similar criminal charges may wish to consult an experienced defense attorney for advice. A knowledgeable attorney can evaluate the evidence, suggest legal arguments, and, if appropriate, negotiate a plea agreement.