Fatal wreck driver, lone survivor heads to trial

By Brandon Evans | Published Saturday, February 2, 2013

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A violent, late night, head-on collision on a curve on Farm Road 730 in the summer of 2011 left four teenagers dead.

Danny Nalley

Danny Nalley

Next Tuesday morning, Danny Nalley, 19, of Fort Worth, the driver and lone survivor of the silver Mustang full of teenagers, will face trial by jury.

Nalley faces four counts of criminal negligent homicide, a state jail felony.

He was driving the silver Mustang that collided head-on with a pickup truck at 3 a.m. Saturday, July 23, on Farm Road 730 near the intersection of County Road 2445 several miles north of Decatur.

Nalley was passing in a no-passing lane and speeding, according to the indictment, when he struck a northbound pickup driven by Richard G. Rand, 30, of Burleson. The Mustang crumpled beneath the pickup, instantly killing four passengers. Rand suffered only minor injuries.

Nalley was passing a carload of friends after they all left a late-night party in the LBJ National Grasslands.

The wreck took the lives of Kevin Brickey, 19, of Blue Mound; Vincent Williams, 19, of Wakefield, Mass.; Vincent Lagrassa, 19, of Fort Worth; and John D. Rangel, 16, of Highlands.

Nalley also was seriously injured in the wreck. He was unresponsive at the scene and was taken to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth. He didn’t wake up for four days and was left handicapped by his injuries.

Alcohol was found on the scene. A blood test showed Nalley’s blood alcohol level 0.03, well below the legal limit of 0.08.

However, a toxicology report showed the presence of central nervous system (CNS) depressants in Nalley’s system. CNS depressants cover a wide range of substances that include alcohol and pharmaceuticals that treat anxiety, insomnia and pain.

Criminal negligence is defined as a “gross deviation from the standard of care that an ordinary person would exercise under all the circumstances viewed from the actor’s standpoint.”

The jury trial begins 9 a.m. Tuesday. Nalley is expected to plead guilty to the charges and then look to a jury to determine his punishment. A state jail felony carries a possible sentence of six months to two years and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

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