Weatherford Democrat

October 17, 2012

DPS: Man used meth before fatal crash

Christin Coyne
Weatherford Democrat

WEATHERFORD —  

An investigating trooper says the driver of a vehicle that struck and killed a Weatherford man, who had stopped on the highway shoulder because of a flat tire, is believed to have taken methamphetamine prior to the Aug. 11 crash. 

Mark Earl Wisdom, 48, of Parker County, was arrested Monday evening on a charge of 2nd degree felony intoxication manslaughter with a vehicle. 

Skid marks, or lack of them, indicated Wisdom did not brake before the wreck, which resulted in the death of 43-year-old welder and Weatherford resident Jerry Escalante, Texas Highway Patrol Trooper Jeffrey Davis wrote in a probable cause affidavit.

The wreck occurred around 6:30 a.m. on Interstate 20 in Hudson Oaks when a westbound maroon GMC pickup traveled off the main lanes of Interstate 20 and struck a blue Chevrolet S-10 Blazer stopped on the shoulder. 

The Blazer came to rest upside down facing east in the westbound lane of traffic with damage to the left rear portion of the vehicle and the roof. 

Escalante was pronounced dead at the scene. His death was later ruled an accident as a result of compressional asphyxia, according to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner. 

Wisdom was transported to Weatherford Regional Medical Center and then to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth by LifeCare EMS for non-life threatening injuries, according to DPS. 

Another driver reported that it appeared that Wisdom, driving in the right lane, was going to pass him when he heard a crash. 

The witness, who stopped and ran back to the wreck, said Wisdom appeared “out of it,” though he did not smell any alcohol. 

Davis wrote that skid marks indicated Wisdom was traveling at least 65 mph after the crash. 

Wisdom reportedly told a trooper that he left work in Arlington at 4 a.m., went to a friend’s house for half an hour, returned to his Arlington apartment, went to Walmart in Fort Worth and was attempting to go to his father’s house north of Weatherford when the wreck occurred. 

 The trooper reported that Wisdom was almost incoherent when he spoke with him three hours later at JPS. 

After receiving a Parker County grand jury subpoena, Davis wrote, he reviewed the results of the blood sample, obtained three hours after the wreck, which showed positive for illegal amphetamines and methamphetamines. 

Wisdom was released on $35,000 bond Wednesday afternoon, according to Parker County Jail records.