• January 25, 2022

Tony Boswell Killed in Auto-Pedestrian Accident on FM 346 in Cherokee County, TX

Cherokee County, TX -- January 23, 2022, 43-year-old pedestrian Tony Boswell was struck and killed by a Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office vehicle on FM 346.

Authorities say the incident happened around 11:55 p.m. on the 3000 block of Farm to Market Road 346 near Eastdale Lane. Preliminary investigation suggests that Boswell was walking south on the right edge of the roadway when he was fatally struck by a southbound Dodge Charger patrol unit driven by a CCSO deputy. The deputy notified EMS and attempted life-saving measures until paramedics arrived.

Boswell was transported to a Tyler hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The deputy has been placed on leave as the investigation continues.

No further information is available at this time.

Commentary on Tony Boswell Accident on FM 346 in Cherokee County

UPDATE (February 23, 2022): Later reports about this crash indicate the victim admitted at the scene that he drank alcohol prior to the accident. Some may not see how that detail is particularly relevant considering its general circumstances, but it may be more important than it seems.

I'll give you an example: Some time ago, I had a case where a man was hit by a vehicle on a freeway ramp. Upon further investigation, it turned out he had been drinking at a bowling alley that night. Evidence showed that the business recklessly over-served him while he was obviously intoxicated, which is illegal in Texas. He became so drunk he wandered onto the freeway where the accident happened. With evidence of that over-service, we filed a dram shop claim and held the bowling alley accountable for contributing to the man's death.

I'm not saying there's necessarily a specific business out there to hold accountable for the tragic events on FM 346. My point is more that if alcohol is believed to be a factor then there are some complexities to that which merit further attention. Police have a track record of disregarding potential dram violations, though, which is why it may be important to work with experienced investigators who can help ensure the victim's loved ones get all the facts.

Tony Boswell Killed in Auto-Pedestrian Accident on FM 346 in Cherokee County, TX

ORIGINAL: Clearly this is a terrible tragedy and I hope further investigation, reportedly taken over by Texas DPS, is able to make a little more sense out of it. Why was the victim out walking? Where did he come from and where was he headed? Are there any lights in that area? Was the victim dressed in dark clothing, or did he have any visibility enhancements to help drivers see him? Was the sheriff's deputy watching his surroundings while in motion? Were the car's headlights activated? Reports suggest the deputy was on patrol at the time, so could something else have had his attention in those crucial moments?

I want to be clear that I don't know more than the news has released and I am making zero accusations against anyone involved. I only mean to say that this incident deserves careful examination to be sure the truth of it is found. I don't believe for a moment that this was a malicious act, and investigators specifically said they don't suspect foul play. However, if an act of carelessness, however momentary, was the cause of a man's life being cut short then it's important that someone face proper accountability for that. Only time and further careful investigation could say whether such accountability is needed, but in the meantime it's important not to jump to any conclusions and focus instead on what can be done for the victim's loved ones in this difficult time.


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