Lubbock, TX- A local teenager, her parents and an apartment complex have been hit with a new multi-million dollar lawsuit after a drunken driving accident involving at least five cars took the life of one man and left others injured.
Authorities say that Jessica Traylor was drunk when she left a pool party at the Ranch Apartments on April 29. According to a police report, Traylor ran a red light at the intersection of Quaker Ave. and 19th Street just after 8 p.m.
When Traylor ran the red light she set of a chain of collisions that resulted in one man’s death. According to the Amarillo Globe News, Traylor’s Lincoln sedan slammed into a SUV as it was turning left at the intersection. The impact of the collision pushed the SUV into Liandro Garcia, 47, who was riding his motorcycle; he was pronounced dead at the scene.
The SUV that Traylor struck first was carrying two passengers who have been identified as Storm Murray and Jane Alaand. Both Murray and Alaand suffered serious bodily injuries, the Amarillo Globe News reported.
Everything Lubbock online reported that a total of five cars were involved in the accident. Traylor along with four other people were hurt with their injuries ranging from moderate to mild.
Once on the scene police determined that Traylor was intoxicated and paced her under arrest. She is facing charges of negligent homicide, but the criminal charges are just a few of the teen’s problems that are beginning to mount. If Traylor is convicted she could face anywhere from 2 to 20 years in jail.
Garcia and Murray have both filed lawsuits against Traylor, naming her parents and the apartment complex as co-defendants. Garcia’s widow is seeking a $15 wrongful death settlement and Murray is seeking $1 million for his injuries.
KCBD TV reported that Traylor was arrested in March for possession of a dangerous drug. The person was with was also received a citation for minor possession of alcohol.
A DUI at any age is serious, but most states, Texas included, have a zero-tolerance policy for underage drinkers. That means that any person under the age of 21 with a .02 blood alcohol level, which is barely one drink for most people, will face criminal charges.
To be charged with a DUI, adults have to have a blood alcohol level of .08 or more, though there is a push on the federal level to lower the legal limit to .05.
Judges can sentence drunk drivers to jail after their first offense, so it is critical that any person at any age charged with a DUI hires an attorney to defend them in court. With a strong defense, the offender can plead to a lesser charge.
A practiced Lubbock DUI attorney will use any number of defense strategies, depending on the circumstances of a case, to prevent a conviction or enter a plea for a reduced sentence or charge. Anyone who is arrested for driving under the influence should retain an attorney as soon as they are able.