James Smith : Tow truck driver arrested for manslaughter after running over man in Dallas

Death – Obituary – Accident and Crime News : Tow Truck Driver Arrested on Manslaughter Charge after Fatal Incident in Dallas

In a tragic incident that occurred in northeast Dallas early Sunday morning, a tow truck driver has been arrested on a manslaughter charge in connection with the death of a man whose truck he was towing, according to the Dallas Police Department. The incident took place at around 3:20 a.m. in the 10000 block of Shoreview Road, located off east Northwest Highway.

Upon arrival at the scene, officers discovered 67-year-old James Smith lying in the parking lot. It was revealed that Smith’s vehicle was being towed from the location when he jumped onto the driver’s side. Tragically, he fell off the vehicle and was subsequently run over, resulting in his death. Smith was immediately rushed to a nearby hospital, where he later succumbed to his injuries.

Speaking to reporters outside their shared Dallas Housing Authority apartment, Smith’s brother, Larry Smith, expressed his grief and disbelief. He recounted how both he and his brother confronted the tow truck driver, informing him that he was making a mistake. However, the driver allegedly persisted, claiming the truck was in violation and continued with the towing process. Larry Smith asserted that his brother had the necessary parking permits, despite the vehicle having only paper tags and the metal plates not yet installed.

According to the arrest affidavit, James Smith attempted to prevent the tow truck driver from leaving by grabbing the steering wheel. However, as the driver raised the window, Smith’s arm became trapped. He clung to the vehicle as it proceeded around the north end of the apartment complex and ran over a speed bump. Tragically, Smith fell from the tow truck and was left unaided by the driver, who failed to stop.

The alleged tow truck driver, identified as 25-year-old Roberto Padilla Garcia, was subsequently located at the Dallas Auto Pound. He was arrested on a charge of manslaughter and taken to the Dallas County Jail. Garcia initially posted a $100,000 bond and was released the following day. The family of the victim expressed their outrage, with Smith’s sister, Linda Smith Carswell, stating, “He didn’t just kill my brother. He left him there with no regard to life.”

James Smith, a custodian who dedicated over 30 years of his life to working in Dallas ISD schools, was cherished by his family and colleagues alike. The incident has left the community in shock, with calls for the tow truck driver to be held accountable for his actions. The arrest affidavit revealed that Garcia agreed to be interviewed at Dallas Police Headquarters but subsequently requested his attorney and declined to provide a statement during the video-recorded interview.

WFAA has made attempts to reach out to the tow truck driver for comment but has yet to receive a response. This tragic incident serves as a stark reminder of the importance of road safety and the need for accountability in all aspects of transportation.

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