CBS7 has reported that 21-year-old Nicolas Yeager has been arrested for Intoxication Manslaughter following a crash that claimed the life of Traci Lynn Klein. At approximately 9:50 p.m., officers from the Midland Police Department responded to a crash at the intersection of Mockingbird Lane and N. Big Spring Street. Officers have stated that a Toyota Highlander driven by 34-year-old Traci Lynn Klein was traveling east on Mockingbird Lane and crossing N. Big Springs when an F350 driven by Nicolas Yeager was attempting a left turn from N. Big Spring onto Mockingbird Ln. The driver of the F350 struck the Toyota and was found to have failed-to-yield right-of-way. Traci Lynn Klein was transported to Midland Memorial where she passed from injuries sustained in the crash. Nicolas Yeager was arrested for Intoxication Manslaughter but no mention has been made about whether drugs, alcohol, or both were involved.
The Midland/Odessa area is one of the top “Hot Spots” for drunk driving related crashes in Texas. Since 2017, this area has placed in the top five cities with drunk driving related accidents per capita, often holding the #1 or #2 spots. Many wonder why drunk driving is so prevalent in this area. While it’s hard to tell what the cause is, we can easily see how this is affecting countless lives throughout the community, this family included. Drunk drivers should be prosecuted with tough enough punishments to deter them from continuing their reckless behavior. Mothers Against Drunk Driving reports that a drunk driver has driven drunk over 80 times before their first arrest. These drivers should be held accountable before they harm someone, not after several arrests and a fatal accident. In Texas, we have what is referred to as the Dram Shop Act. It is a law that allows victims of drunk driving and their families to sue bars, restaurants, and other establishments when they are guilty of serving an obviously intoxicated person who goes on to kill or injure themself or someone else. We don’t know if an alcohol provider overserved this driver, but I trust law enforcement will perform a thorough investigation to determine what led up to this senseless loss of life.