3 killed in fiery I-20 crash in Arlington; driver charged with DWI manslaughter

Three people are dead and a man is in custody following a fiery crash on Interstate 20 in Arlington on Thursday night. An intoxicated driver in a Chevy Equinox ran into two cars and two pedestrians stopped on the shoulder, according to Arlington police.

An individual inside of one of the vehicles and a person standing on the shoulder died at the scene, police said. Another pedestrian was taken to a local hospital and pronounced dead there, police said.

Jose Castro, 29, of Farmers Branch, was arrested and charged with three counts of intoxication manslaughter, police said.

Victim information wasn’t immediately available.

Police said the accident occurred around 10:53 p.m. on Thursday after a disabled vehicle stopped on the shoulder of eastbound I-20 near the Center Street Bridge and another stopped apparently to help. The Chevy Equinox, police said, hit the two vehicles and two people standing outside. Those people were thrown from the impact, police said.

There was an “extensive fire” following the crash that engulfed all three vehicles, according to Arlington officer Christopher Cook, a police spokesman. Photos from the scene show three heavily burnt cars.

“It was a horrific scene for our first responders to have to deal with,” Cook said on Friday morning. “Our hearts go out to the families that were impacted by this horrific crash.”

Police said they expected the Tarrant County Medical Examiner to release information about the three victims on Friday pending notification of next of kin.

Preliminary details indicate the Chevy Equinox drifted into the right shoulder and hit the car that was farther back, causing that vehicle to slam into the other vehicle, police said. The vehicles then hit the pedestrians, police said.

The incident, Cook said, should serve as a reminder of the danger of stopping on the shoulders of busy roads.

Castro was taken into custody after receiving treatment for minor injuries at a hospital, police said. He was in Arlington Jail on Friday and a bond has yet to be set.

Some eastbound I-20 lanes near the crash were shut down for about seven hours overnight as units investigated the crash, police said.

Police are asking anyone who might have seen the crash to reach out to traffic investigator Brent Mayorga at 817-575-8608.