In August of 2016, a young college student perished in a drunk driving accident near Asher, Oklahoma. The student, originally from Texas, died when he and the driver's seat were ejected from the automobile during the accident. In the accident, which occurred on Aug. 10, 2016, the defendant allegedly struck the victim's vehicle head-on.
According to court records regarding this case, the defendant was recently ordered to undergo a competency evaluation. During the second week of May, he made a court appearance and was booked back into custody for the evaluation. He had been out on bond until this court appearance.
News sources do not indicate the reason behind the competency evaluation order. However, the report does indicate that the defendant suffered head injuries in the drunk driving accident. The court ruled that his case would continue on May 31. He is facing charges of second-degree murder.
One of the more tragic aspects of this case is that the defendant had a history of driving under the influence. He had been ordered to install an ignition interlock device due to "two previous DUI cases pending adjudication at that time."
However, the 2003 Chevrolet pickup that the defendant was operating at the time of the accident had no such device installed. Reportedly, the driver indicated he had recently bought the truck and had not yet installed the device.
This drunk driving accident reveals that it is possible to disregard court orders and still drive under the influence of alcohol. By choosing to operate a motor vehicle not equipped with the court-ordered ignition interlock device, the defendant robbed a family of a loved one. Hopefully, this family and other victims will always seek to hold the responsible parties to account. A personal injury attorney can aid in this nationwide goal.
Source: The Shawnee News Star, "Competency evaluation ordered for defendant charged in fatal crash," Kim Morava, May 13, 2017