On April 11, 2015, Fort Worth police arrested two Texas Christian University students after a fatal two-car collision. A 46-year-old woman in the other car involved in the crash died. The police arrested the driver on suspected intoxication manslaughter and the passenger on suspected public intoxication charges. The crash took place at the intersection of Benbrook Boulevard, McCart Avenue, Granbury Road and Cleburne Avenue.
The woman, who was going to pick up her daughter at the time of the crash, was pronounced dead at the accident scene. The passenger received treatment from paramedics before the arrest. A witness allegedly told police that the passenger thought the car he was in had hit a parked vehicle, and the driver implied that he was intoxicated. At the time of the arrest, the two students were both in their senior years at the university.
Police released both students from jail, but they both will have to appear in court at a later date for a hearing on the charges. The driver faces a sentence of anywhere from two to 20 years in prison and fines of $10,000 if convicted of intoxication manslaughter. The passenger was facing a $500 fine for public intoxication.
After fatal car collisions that are caused by an impaired driver, surviving family members may be able to seek damages through a wrongful death lawsuit naming the responsible party as a defendant. Such a civil suit can be maintained regardless of whether any criminal charges have been brought, or a conviction obtained, against the driver. Damages that can be sought can include funeral and burial expenses and other amounts that are permitted by statute.
Source: TCU 360, "Two Students Arrested After Fatal Car Crash," Brad Hardcastle, April 12, 2015.