Alexis Butler death: Who bears culpability in the death of an Arlington, Texas teen after a pick up driver performing a breathalyzer test crashes into her as she was backing out into oncoming traffic?
Alexis Butler an 18 year old Arlington, Texas teen has died after a driver struck her car with his pickup truck after being momentarily distracted while applying a court ordered breathalyzer.
The teen had been backing her Toyota Camry out of a driveway on November 10, when a 31-year-old man driving a pickup rammed into her vehicle on the passenger side, Arlington Police Department said.
Butler was taken to a local hospital only to pass away a week later, November, 17 Friday afternoon. Following the crash, the 18 year old never regained consciousness.
The driver, who hasn’t been named, told cops he briefly took his eyes off the road to perform a breath test on an ignition interlock device ordered by a court, KXAS-TV reported.
The device prevents a vehicle from starting if the driver had been drinking. Of note, court mandates also require/prompt a sequestered driver to intermittently test after starting operation of the car, failure to do so is marked against the individual or can cause the driver’s vehicle to cease operating.
During their investigation, police noticed there were no tire marks indicating the 31-year-old pickup driver tried to stop before the collision reported the Fort Worth Star Telegram.
Police said the driver of the pickup admitted to looking down for three to four seconds to perform a breath test on his court-ordered ignition interlock device and did not see Butler’s car in time.
Alexis Butler death: Determining manufacturer guidelines as to proper use of breathalyzer device.
Despite the pick up driver’s mandate, commentators on the web unanimous said irrespective if the pick up driver was distracted or not, that it had been Butler’s responsibility to check for safety as she had been backing into oncoming traffic.
Offered Lt. Chris Cook, with the Arlington Police Department, ‘….And more importantly for us, as a police department, is to determine what the manufacturer recommendation is as far as the guidelines in how to operate this type of equipment. It’s very concerning to us, as a police department, that an individual may be operating some type of ignition equipment while they’re in a moving vehicle.’
At the time of Butler’s death, the teen had graduated Arlington’s Martin High School in June and had spent years in the school cheerleading squad.
Following Butler’s death, her family released a statement describing Alexis as ‘larger than life.’
‘Everyone loved Lexxy. Her laugh, her smile, her bubbly personality,’ the statement read. ‘She touched so many people’s lives in just her short 18 years, more than most will touch in a lifetime.’
The driver wasn’t impaired and had no injuries. He hasn’t been charged.
Detectives are planning a reconstruction of the crash and a review of the data recorder to determine whether to forward the case to the district attorney’s office who would then decide if case should go to a grand jury.