After a tragic DUI accident this weekend, one Dallas Cowboy is dead, and his teammate is facing serious criminal charges, including intoxication manslaughter. Josh Brent is being charged after flipping his car and killing his teammate, Jerry Brown. Brent was supposed to be on a flight to Cincinnati for a Sunday game only hours after the collision, but was arrested and taken into custody. Brown was found unresponsive at the scene and later pronounced dead at the hospital.
According to police, the accident occurred around 2:30 in the morning on Saturday. Witnesses stated that Brent was speeding when he hit a curb and flipped his vehicle. Bystanders who arrived at the scene called 911 to report the accident. When police arrived, they found Brent trying to remove Brown from the burning Mercedes.
Suspecting that Brent was intoxicated, police administered field sobriety tests, which he allegedly failed. Brent was arrested and charged with DWI, a second-degree felony. After the death of Brown was announced, the charges were increased to intoxication manslaughter. Brent pled guilty to DWI three years ago after he was arrested in Illinois. A criminal conviction can be used as evidence in a civil case if the family pursues a personal injury claim for Brown’s death.
Brent has since made public apologies and expressed his grief over the death of his teammate. It is likely that he will face very serious criminal penalties and could be civilly liable for wrongful death. The players were teammates for 3 seasons at the University of Illinois.
Source: Associated Press, “Cowboy charged after player dies in auto accident,” Schuyler Dixon, Dec. 8, 2012