Charges pending against second driver
|Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor|
March 20, 2004 -- Police are now pursuing charges against the second Mustang driver, who Monday admitted to investigators that he was involved in the Feb. 18 racing incident which resulted in a two-vehicle collision on South Broadway Street which burned and damaged the hearing of one man.
"No arrests have been made and we are not releasing his name at this particular time, but we have had someone come in and admit to being involved in a race on South Broadway Street resulting in an accident," Sulphur Springs Police Investigator Monty Tipps said Tuesday morning. "We had gotten information through the course of the investigation that this person may have been involved. We notified him. He willingly came down here and cooperated fully."
The man told Tipps that as he pulled up to the intersection of South Broadway Street and Shannon Road in his black Mustang on Wednesday, Feb. 18, so did another man in a red Mustang. The man, identified following the wreck as 27-year-old William Brian Boles of Sulphur Springs, revved the motor of his car as if he wanted to race, and both took off racing south down South Broadway Street when the traffic light changed, the investigator said.
Boles, according to accident reports, admitted to traveling at approximately 70 miles per hour, while the other suspect admitted to traveling at a rate of speed he believed to be over 60 mile per hour.
"Both admitted to doing over 60 miles per hour. That's a 45 mile per hour speed zone," Tipps said. "This happed at about 9:30 on a Wednesday night. The accident report says it was a dark, not well-lighted area where this [wreck] happened."
While Boles told investigators during questioning that there was a third suspect in yet another Mustang, the second suspect told investigators Monday that only he and the driver of the red Mustang were involved in the race. Boles also stated that the incident began on South Broadway Street in the area of Subway, but did not admit to racing. He also denied any knowledge of the other driver's identity. At least six witnesses told police that they also only saw the two Mustangs racing down South Broadway Street.
The second suspect, identified as a local man in his early 20s, claimed that he was traveling in the far right lane of southbound traffic when the truck driven by Howard Tirrell of Cumby pulled out of Lowe's parking lot, turning north. He told Tipps he saw the truck and was able to avoid striking the truck but the driver of the other car was not so fortunate. The driver of the black Mustang admitted to having knowledge of the collision but said he was unaware that the vehicles had caught fire.
"He knew the other one hit the truck and he didn't want to be around; he got scared," Tipps said. "He left and that was as far as he knew about the accident."
The driver of the red Mustang got out of his vehicle and, with assistance from a witness to the wreck, and pulled Tirrell from his burning pickup. Tirrell was rushed to the hospital where he was treated for "serious burns" to his head, arm and other parts of his body, and for hearing loss in one ear.
"When I spoke to the victim's wife this morning, she said he still has hearing loss in one ear and they're not sure if its going to be permanent or not. She said his burns are doing much better," Tipps said.
Police anticipate turning the case over to the district attorney's office with the recommendation that the suspect be charged with second-degree felony racing on public highway resulting in injury. The man indicated that he would be willing to turn himself in when and if the warrant or indictment is issued if they will notify him.
"The guy I spoke to down who came down here yesterday said he had done racing here in the past on the street," the investigator said of the as yet unnamed driver of the black Mustang. "I think he knows he made a mistake and he realizes what he did was wrong. I believe he is honestly remorseful."
The first suspect, Boles, implicated in the case was also facing a second-degree felony racing charge Saturday morning at the time of his death, which was not an immediate result of the accident.