Dallas, Texas – Matthew Smith, the driver responsible for the fatal New Year’s Eve crash near Deep Ellum when one person was killed, was out on a bond for his third DWI, court documents indicate.
According to the incident report, the fatal crash took place on New Year’s Eve when Smith was driving the wrong way on Commerce Street with his truck lights off.
He then struck the 57-year-old Dil Chainy, a ride-share driver, while he was watching the New Year’s Eve fireworks.
Smith fled the scene after the incident, but was arrested and charged with manslaughter and accident involving death two weeks after the incident.
The incident could have been prevented if the court decision for Smith’s third DWI case was handled otherwise. Smith’s third charge in 2020 was a felony. He was allowed to post bond, and a device that could have kept him from driving was not ordered until days after the New Year’s Eve crash near Deep Ellum.
Dil Chainy’s daughter, Sharu Bhau, was devastated when she heard the news about her father after the incident. Few days after the fatal crash, she said she lost her best friend forever.
George Milner is a criminal defense attorney not associated with this case.
“Driving the wrong way at night on a major downtown street with your lights off, that’s reckless in my book,” he said.
Court records now reveal Smith was out on bond for his third DWI.
“This guy, he’s going to be in trouble,” Milner said. “Legally speaking, he’s in a bad, bad situation.”
Smith previously had three DWI convictions. According to the court records, Smith was convicted of DWI in Dallas County in 2007, a DWI in Wyoming in 2010 and then another DWI in Dallas in 2020.
The latest fatal incident might put Smith in jail for the rest of his life since the highest prison sentence he faces is 50 years.
Once more details are available in the case, we will update the story.