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Cameron man arrested for intoxication manslaughter following deadly Abilene crash

Drunk driving
Posted at 9:05 PM, Apr 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-23 22:05:44-04

ABILENE, TX — A Cameron man has been arrested for intoxication manslaughter following a deadly crash in Abilene.

On March 13, officers with the Abilene Police Department Traffic Division were dispatched to the intersection of State Highway 36 and Blackburn Road for a crash with a fatality.

According to court documents, witnesses at the scene reported that a Chevrolet Silverado traveling northbound on Highway 36 was hit in the rear by a Dodge Challenger that was also traveling northbound at a high rate of speed. The impact caused both vehicles to leave the roadway.

The Chevrolet struck a tree, killing the driver and seriously injuring two passengers.

The driver of the Chevrolet was later identified as Mark Rogers.

During the investigation, authorities retrieved the event data recorder from the Dodge Challenger. Court documents say the Challenger was traveling 125 to 127 miles per hour just before impact and had an impact speed of approximately 112 miles per hour.

Authorities say witnesses saw the Challenger driving erratically before the crash, crossing the center line of a no pass lane then taking "evasive action" to the right prior to the collision.

Investigators contacted the driver of the Challenger, identified as 50-year-old James Arthur Wells of Cameron, at the hospital.

Wells reportedly told officers he believed he was traveling 45 miles per hour at the time of the crash. He also allegedly claimed to be traveling in a different direction than evidence reflected and did not know the cause of the crash.

A blood sample was taken from Wells and tested by the Texas Department of Public Safety. Court documents state the sample tested presumptively positive for the presence of benzodiazepines at the time of the crash.

On April 23, the APD Traffic Division obtained an arrest warrant for Wells for intoxication manslaughter.

Wells was arrested in Milam County by the Milam County Sheriff's Department, with assistance from the Cameron Police Department.

Authorities say Wells will be held in Milam County for unrelated charges. He will "eventually" be transported to Taylor County.

Wells' bond has been set at $350,000.

APD says the investigation is still active and more charges are possible.