Crime

January 30, 2014

Arlington man gets 10 years for 2011 wreck that killed boy, injured his mother

Walter Chidyausiku pleaded guilty Tuesday to driving drunk and causing the September 2011 crash.

A Tarrant County jury sentenced an Arlington man to 10 years in prison Thursday for driving drunk and causing a wreck that killed a 10-year-old boy and severely injured his mother.

Walter Tendai Chidyausiku, 31, of Arlington, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to one count of intoxication manslaughter and one count of intoxication assault causing serious bodily injury. He faced a maximum sentence of 20 years on the intoxication manslaughter charge, according to court documents.

On the day of the crash, Sept. 1, 2011, Chidyausiku told police he left work about 3 p.m. and drove to a bar, where he had two drinks within an hour and left to pick up his son, a trial brief says.

Chidyausiku ran a stop sign and collided with a Honda Accord about 6 p.m. at the intersection of Nathan Lowe Road and Petra Drive, police said. A passenger in the car, 10-year-old Tavian Sabur, died from injuries sustained in the crash, according to the Tarrant County medical examiner’s office.

His mother, Tina Reese, was driving the Honda Accord, police said.

About a half-hour after the crash, an Arlington police officer asked Chidyausiku to submit to field sobriety tests after smelling alcohol on his breath and seeing other evidence of intoxication, according to court documents. After he finished the tests, Chidyausiku was arrested on suspicion of intoxication assault. The charge was changed to intoxication manslaughter after Tavian Sabur died, court documents show.

The child was taken by ambulance to Medical Center of Arlington and later flown to Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth, where he died.

The boy, a fifth-grader at Cross Timbers Intermediate School in Arlington, was pronounced dead about 4:30 a.m. on Sept. 2, 2011 at Cook Children’s Medical Center. His death was ruled a homicide caused by multiple blunt trauma suffered in the wreck, a release from the medical examiner’s office says.

Reese was taken to John Peter Smith Hospital for treatment after the collision, police said.

This report includes material from the Star-Telegram archives.

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