New information has been released about the crash that killed five members of the musical theatre show “Texas.” KFDX News reports that the driver involved in the wreck had more than twice the legal limit of alcohol in his system. A 20-year-old Wichita Falls native was killed in this tragic crash. In addition to the five deaths, two other people were injured in this crash. This recent news report states that in addition to having more than twice the legal amount of alcohol in his system, Clinton Diaz, the driver of the Ford Taurus, had marijuana in his system as well.
This crash happened on Monday, August 12th on U.S. 287 near Dumas, just north of Amarillo. According to authorities, the Ford Taurus ran a stop sign and pulled in front of a tractor-trailer. The semi truck hit the passenger side of the Taurus, and the load topped over onto the car. The victims were coming from an end-of-summer cast party. A justice of the peace pronounced the five victims dead early Tuesday morning.
The victims included the driver, 20-year-old Clinton Diaz, 20-year-old Andrew Duncan of Wichita Falls, 20-year-old Amanda Starz, 24-year-old Julian Arredondo IV and 21-year-old Eric Harrison. Timothy Johnson of Portland, Oregon was injured in the crash. As of August 19th, the Amarilo Globe-News reported that Johnson was still listed in critical condition at Northwest Texas Hospital. There is no word on his current status. The driver of the semi truck, Theron Arthur McSay, was also injured in the crash and has since been released from the hospital.
Officials with the Department of Public Safety are likely asking questions about how the under-aged driver gained access to alcohol. The group was coming from a big end-of-summer party which was held at the Coldwater Ranch owned by former Texas Panhandle Heritage Foundation board member Joe Batson. When asked about alcohol consumption at the party, Kris Miller, the executive director of the Texas Panhandle Heritage Foundation, was quoted by the Amarillo Globe-News as saying that there “didn’t seem to be an abundance of alcohol there.”
The party was also described as a ‘let-your-hair-down’ kind of event. Now that authorities have confirmed that the under-aged driver of the Taurus was intoxicated, they are likely investigating how he acquired alcohol. The team at the Altman Legal Group sends their deepest condolences to all of the family members, friends, cast members and colleagues of the victims of this terrible crash.