Saginaw man dies from injuries in suspected DWI wreck

04/25/2014 12:57 PM

04/25/2014 12:59 PM

Charges against a man accused in a drunk driving wreck that severely injured his passenger could be upgraded following the passenger’s death on Thursday.

Douglas Ray Smith, 47, already had two DWI convictions, court records show, when the Ford F250 pickup he was driving crashed April 8 into a light pole in the 4300 block of West Interstate 30.

His passenger, 48-year-old Paul Ray Darnell of Saginaw, was hospitalized with serious injuries. He was pronounced dead Thursday at 11:33 a.m Texas Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth.

Smith, according to a police report, had been arrested on suspicion of intoxication assault and two outstanding warrants at the scene of the wreck based on the results of a field sobriety test. He was taken to John Peter Smith Hospital, where he refused a request for a sample of his blood.

Police then obtained a warrant to have his blood drawn.

Smith was charged April 14 with intoxication assault with serious bodily injury. He was released from jail two days later after posting a $15,000 bond, records show.

In light of Darnell’s death, prosecutors are now reviewing the case for possible upgraded charges.

“We are currently looking at all aspects of this cases and will investigate it thoroughly before presenting it to the grand jury for their consideration,” said Assistant District Attorney David Hagerman:

Court records state Smith was previously convicted of DWI in Wise County in April 2005 and in August 2003.

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