• May 17, 2017

Latrell Ballard Killed, Durel Nickles, Janiyah Fowler-Goonan, Marcus Marquon Clear & 7-Year-Old Girl Hurt in Accident in Waco, TX

Waco, TX -- An alleged alcohol-related crash in the area of Waco, TX led to the death of 16-year-old Latrell Ballard, and left Durel Nickels, 31, Janyiah Fowler-Goonan, Marcus Marquon Clear and a 7-year-old girl with injuries.

According to police reports, the vehicle occupied by the victims was traveling near the 1900 block of North 18th Street when it lost control. The vehicle then went off the roadway, crashing into a power pole, flipping over.

Mr. Ballard, the 16-year-old son of Mr. Clear--the driver of the vehicle--, was killed at the scene of the incident. Durel Nickles, Janiyah Fowler-Goonan and the 7-year-old passenger were all injured.

Mr. Clear was injured as well.

Police say they have arrested and charged Mr. Clear with intoxication manslaughter and two counts of intoxication assault.

The investigation is ongoing.

map of the area

Commentary

As this incident appears to involve family members, I don't wish to intrude after such a tragedy. However, as a matter of public policy, it's the community needs answers as to where the suspected driver in this crash acquired his alcohol. Considering the time the incident occurred and the circumstances surrounding the crash, it seems possible that a licensed alcohol provider might have been involved.

This is an important detail as licensed providers of alcohol have a lawful duty to cut off intoxicated drivers. These rules were put in place as a deterrent against crashes exactly like these.

As members of the public, we have the right to know if someone publicly licensed to serve alcohol irresponsibly and illegally over-served this individual. If the outcome of a more thorough, independent, professional investigation proves a licensed alcohol provider was involved, that establishment should face the stiffest penalties available under the law..

--Grossman Law Offices

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