08/18/2015 // 1-800 Car Wreck Fort Worth // (press release)

Fort Worth, TX – A drunk driving suspect has been arrested following an accident in Fort Worth that left a pedestrian dead. Local news reports say that the driver, 27-year-old Michael Watson, has been charged with intoxication manslaughter for striking and killing Michael Black, 29, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

Source: Star-Telegram Report “DWI suspect kills pedestrian in Fort Worth”

“FORT WORTH – One man is dead and another was in jail after a pickup hit a pedestrian early Saturday in Fort Worth, police said.

A man was walking in the roadway in the 5600 block of Martin Street, near the Loop 820 access road in southeast Fort Worth, at about 1:15 a.m. when he was struck, said Cpl. Tracey Knight, a police spokeswoman.

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The relatively high incidence of fatal pedestrian-vehicle accidents, although not as common as vehicle-to-vehicle crashes, impacts the lives of many individuals each year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the problem is a significant one with over an estimated 75,000 pedestrians being injured in related crashes annually.

Source: CDC “Pedestrian Safety”

“In 2012, 4,743 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes in the United States, and another 76,000 pedestrians were injured. This averages to one crash-related pedestrian death every 2 hours, and a pedestrian injury every 7 minutes.1 Pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to be killed in a car crash on each trip.”

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Fort Worth based personal injury lawyer Amy Witherite says of the matter “among those most at risk of being involved in pedestrian accidents in Fort Worth are children, elderly individuals, and people who have the unfortunate fate of coming into contact with a driver who is alcohol or drug impaired.”

The attorney says that the recent crash is reminiscent of another major fatal pedestrian accident in DFW last year that also made headlines. Media reports on that incident said that the victim was killed on his birthday after being hit by a pickup truck driver while trying to cross the roadway. The driver, who was suspected to have been intoxicated at the time, was arrested for DWI and failing to stop and render aid.

For pedestrians the CDC outlines several tips for staying safe while walking to any destination which include:

  • Increasing their visibility by carrying a flashlight if walking at night or wearing retro-reflective clothing.
  • Crossing streets at designated crosswalks or intersections.
  • Walking on sidewalks when possible, and if one is not available, walking on the shoulders of road while facing traffic.

Many pedestrian accidents occur during early morning hours between midnight and 5 a.m., a time frame during which a number of accidents that occur as a result of intoxicated or fatigued driving accidents are reported. Unfortunately in some circumstances, even when pedestrians take the proper precautions to reduce their risks of being hurt, the negligent actions of drivers still put them in harm’s way.

In the event that a pedestrian accident is attributed to a drunk driver, or other type of driver negligence it can be difficult for families of pedestrians killed in these types of crashes and surviving victims to understand what steps they should take in the aftermath to hold liable parties accountable for their damages. Witherite further states that “contacting an attorney immediately is typically necessary for victims in understanding their legal options for financial recovery, which is a significant step in moving forward.”