Driver charged with manslaughter, DWI in fatal motorcycle crash

Driver charged with manslaughter, DWI in fatal motorcycle crash
(Source: KCBD)
(Source: KCBD)

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The driver of a pickup that rear-ended a motorcycle and caused a fatal crash on Sunday, Sept. 18 has now been charged with Driving While Intoxicated.

49-year-old James Albert Pritchard was arrested and charged with manslaughter earlier this week. He is being held at the Lubbock County Detention Center on a $50,000 bond.

Lubbock police officers responded to the crash at 50th Street and Indiana Avenue around 6:25 p.m. Sunday.

A 2006 Harley Davidson motorcycle was stopped at the red light on 50th Street facing eastbound when it was rear-ended by a 2011 Ford F150 pickup.

The impact sent both vehicles into the middle of the intersection where they crashed with two other vehicles that were traveling northbound on Indiana Ave.

The driver of the motorcycle, Sammy Castaneda, 50, was taken to University Medical Center where he later died.

Pritchard, who was driving the Ford F-150, suffered minor injuries was taken to UMC. Officers had probable cause to believe the driver was under the influence of alcohol and the influence contributed to the crash.

After his release from UMC, he was arrested and transported to the Lubbock County Detention Facility.

The Lubbock Police Department Accident Investigation Team is still investigating the crash.

This isn't the first time Pritchard has had a run in with the law, he's been arrested several times for multiple crimes, including prostitution, possession of marijuana, obstruction of justice and retaliation.

On August 28, Pritchard was arrested and charged with a DUI after police found him asleep behind the wheel at the intersection of 34th and Indiana Ave. around 10:30 a.m., according to a police report. The report also says Pritchard's vehicle was in drive. He told the officer he did not remember what he did between 7 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., but told police he stopped drinking around 3 a.m. However the officers on the scene reported open containers were found in his F-150.

During the search of his vehicle, police found one open container, one closed container and eight empty containers of alcohol.

Pritchard was placed under arrest and taken to the hospital to get a blood sample. He was then taken to the Lubbock County Detention Center and charged with a DUI. He was released the following day after posting a $1,500 bond. An arraignment date has not been set for his DUI charge.

According to court documents, on June 25, 2013 around 6 a.m., Pritchard was arrested and charged with a DWI after a vehicle accident. It happened in the 400 block of N. University Ave. However, the DWI charge was dismissed and he was charged with reckless driving. He served five days in jail for the reckless driving offense.

The funeral for Sammy Castaneda will be held 10 a.m. Friday at Trinity at 7002 Canton Ave., with a procession to Brownfield Cemetery.

If you'd like to help, a memorial account has been established in the name of Sammy Castaneda at all Plains Capital Bank locations.