This week, a Tarrant County jury will determine the fate of an Arlington driver who admitted to driving drunk and killing a 10-year-old boy. Earlier this week, Walter Chidyausiku pleaded guilty to charges of intoxication manslaughter and intoxication assault. The first charge could land him up to 20 years in prison, and the second, up to an additional 10. His sentences would be served concurrently. Tarrant County assistant district attorney, Mark Thielman, asked the jury to send Chidyausiku to prison for as long as they see fit.
The tragic drunk driving incident occurred on September 1, 2011, when Chidyausiku ran a stop sign in South Arlington and hit Tavian “TJ” Sabur and his mother, Tina Reese. TJ was on his way home to get ready for football practice, and he and his mother were only three blocks from home at the time of the crash.
In an emotional, tearful testimony, Reese recalled what she could remember from that fateful day.
“I couldn’t move. I tried to look at my son in the back seat,” Reese stated. “He was unconscious, there was blood coming from his mouth, but I couldn’t reach him and I must have went unconscious.”
Reese remembers later waking up in the hospital and asking about her son. She was told by a family friend who had been with TJ that his heart wouldn’t last much longer on the respirator because his spinal cord had been severed in the crash. Reese herself suffered from a broken neck and severe torso injuries which required blood transfusions and several surgeries. Following one of her surgeries, she was taken from John Peter Smith Hospital by ambulance to see TJ at Cook Children’s Medical Center. He died after being removed from his respirator a day after the crash.
Witnesses of the crash claimed that Chidyausiku did not seem concerned about the collision until a nearby nurse on the scene said that she couldn’t find a pulse on TJ. The sound of the car’s impact was described as a “sickening, deafening sound.”
Chidyausiku, after getting his story straight, admitted to stopping at a bar on his way home from work at the Bank of America on Amon Carter Boulevard in Fort Worth. There, he drank two beers before driving to the neighborhood in Arlington. Police Officer Brian Martin administered a field sobriety test to Chidyausiku at the scene of the crime and testified that he could smell alcohol on the man’s breath.
The sentencing phase for Chidyausiku will continue into this week.
Any charge related to drunk driving, including DUI or DWI, is a serious and complicated matter. If you or anyone you know is facing charges for intoxicated driving in Dallas, whether it’s a first or repeat offense, be sure to contact an experienced and properly trained DWI attorney to assist you with your case. A call to The Wilder Firm can help you to present your defense. The attorneys at The Wilder Firm are consistently successful and willing to help you take action in your DWI case.
Van Horne, Chris. “Jury Deciding Sentence for Drunken Driver That Killed 5th Grader”. NBCDFW.