Man charged with manslaughter after 2016 fatal crash

Man charged with manslaughter after 2016 fatal crash

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The driver of a pickup that rear-ended a motorcycle and caused a fatal crash on Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016 has been indicted by a grand jury on a charge of manslaughter.

James Albert Pritchard, 49, was arrested and charged with manslaughter just after the crash but has since been released on a $50,000 bond.

According to court documents, Pritchard admitted to drinking an alcoholic beverage before he crashed his pickup truck at 50th and Indiana Ave. around 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 18.

Police say a 2006 Harley Davidson motorcycle driven by 50-year-old Sammy Castaneda was stopped at the red light on 50th Street facing eastbound when it was rear-ended by a 2011 Ford F150 pickup driven by Pritchard.

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.

Castaneda 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.

The court documents reveal Pritchard refused to perform field sobriety tests and two open containers of 24 oz. Bud Light Lime-A-Rita were found in the cab of his pickup.

After Pritchard was placed under arrest, the court documents say he refused to give a sample of his blood or breath and told the officer, "There are two very good lawyers in this town and they advised me to not give my blood."

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

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.