Sissy’s story: Michelle was my only daughter and my baby. She is so dearly missed, and what happened to her and my family should never be allowed to happen to anyone else! Michelle was 34 years old, a newlywed who had just married her High School sweetheart. Not only did she leave behind a husband, but a 14 year old son that now has to grow up without his mother.
On May 14, 2016 an illegal immigrant (J. Chavaz-Escobedo) with no driver’s license, no SSN, in possession of cocaine and, we were told at the time of the accident, he had numerous outstanding warrants for his arrest (the DA will not confirm or deny now). This man was driving 60+ mph (in a posted 40 mph speed zone) in a Ford F-350 Diesel Super Duty work truck on a service road in Arlington, Texas and rear ended the vehicle Michelle was a passenger in which was stopped at a traffic light. Michelle had to be extracted from the vehicle and was declared brain dead upon arrival at the hospital. The impact was so forceful that EVERY bone in her body was broken, except one.
This illegal driver was found to be in possession of cocaine when they booked him into Tarrant Co. Jail a few hours after the accident. But yet Arlington PD allowed this driver to post a $2,500 bond and walk. This was the beginning of a long battle for me to get the driver charged. I received all kinds of excuses from the Arlington PD for not charging Mr. Chavaz-Escobedo.
• First, they couldn’t get his reported speed to match the damage to the vehicle. They claimed that the truck’s on- board computer hadn’t recorded the speed at the time of impact (they tried to claim the the posted speed was 40 MPH and that he was only 10 MPH over the speed limit).
• Second, they couldn’t release the Medical Examiner’s Report until they received Michelle’s blood toxicology (irrelevant as a passenger but keep in mind that it is req’d by law to blood toxicology ALL involved drivers).
• Third, they couldn’t locate Mr. Chavez-Escobedo. During several phone conversations they even asked if I knew the driver’s alias names!
Mr. Chavez-Escobedo went to court for drug possession charge and pleaded “guilty” to the charge and paid the fine. This occurred right around Michelle’s birthday in August. Mind you, the accident was in May! During one of our conversations, when Arlington PD insisted on Michelle’s blood toxicology from the ME office, before charges could be filed against the driver. I asked if they did a toxicology on the driver to see if he was under the influence. They replied that, at the time of the accident, they didn’t feel it was warranted!
It is required by law that all drivers involved in the accident be tested for alcohol and/or other substances to determine “under the influence” charges. It is not a decision that the investigating officers’ have the authority to make! This driver killed my daughter and gravely injured my son-in-law but they ( Arlington PD) didn’t feel it was warranted to do a drug toxicology on Mr Chevaz-Escobedo! Events such as this went on for several months until I informed the Arlington PD that I would hold them accountable.
They finally arrested the driver on Oct 31, 2016 five months after the accident. Mr. Chevaz-Escobedo plead guilty in 2018 and is up for parole in October, 2019. We will never know if Mr Chevaz-Escobedo was under the influence at the time of the accident because Arlington PD violated the law and failed to do their job. I feel as a mother that this illegal had more rights then my daughter, a legal law abiding citizen. This illegal not only destroyed our lives, my grandson & son-in law’s lives but also my son’s chance of Michelle possibly being an organ donor match. We all suffer from the actions of this man who clearly has no respect for our laws or the American citizens by choosing to get behind the wheel of a vehicle with no drivers license. What if this was YOUR child? Do you think justice was served?