Uninsured driver let go after causing car accident
About 1 in 8 vehicles in Texas are estimated not to be covered by insurance. A couple from Leander now knows the devastation of being uninsured can be.
Respondents were shocked at what they saw at the crash scene.
"We shouldn't have walked away from the accident," Jon Bever said.
Around midnight on November 8th 2013, a couple from Leander, Jon and Debbie Bever were heading home from San Antonio. That was when they noticed a car behind them in the distance on North Highway 281.
"I looked over to her and then looked back in a rear mirror and he was there... Only thing I remember is telling Deb to hold on hold on," said Jon Bever.
His wife, Debbie said all she was able to do was grab Jon's arm. "And when we were flipping I just remember, I think were rolling like it was surreal," said Debbie Bever.
Police office Cory Munoz arrived to the scene. The white Lincoln Towncar vehicle that was forced off the highway where both Jon and Debbie were still in. The driver was identified as Tyone Dotcie, 20 years old, heading back to Tarleton State University. Dotcie could be heard on the police dash camera audio that he admitted he was at fault.
Dotcie said that he saw something cross the road, attempted to break his vehicle, but his car continued driving and that was when he hit the Bever's vehicle from behind. Dotcie said he was driving 80mph during that time.
Office Munoz asked for Dotcie's I.D and asked for his insurance, required by state law. Officer Munoz issued Dotcie a citation for failure to control speed and allowed Dotcie to leave after the scene.
"Yeah he was just gone, he was just gone, we looked for the car and the car was gone," Jon Bever said.
When the Bever's received a copy of the crash report, they came to a surprise. It turned out that Tyrone Dotcie did not have insurance and there was no financial responsibility marked.
"I think we were let down," Jon Bever said.
Chief Mark Whitacre said that Dotcie recently purchased the car he was driving and that the paperwork he provided was a temporary specialty tag. It is though unclear how Dotcie got away without showing proof of insurance.
Police cars in Marble falls do not have laptops with internet access. Chief Mark Whitacre said that officers are to call dispatchers to run checks. But Munoz was a rookie police officer at the time, confirmed the information he was given at the crash scene upon returning back to the station.
In 2013, the city record showed that there were a total of 478 car crashes in Marble Falls. Fifteen vehicles involved in car accidents were not covered by insurance. Chief Whitacre says that the information shows that their town does not have a problem with uninsured drivers.
"It's put our life in a tailspin," Debbie Bever said.
Medical bills for Debbie has accumulated after the car accident. Their own insurance is now covering the uninsured motorist damages, which was not enough to pay for the loan on their totaled SUV.
"We are out quite a bit, and have been and probably will be at this point," Jon Bever said.
The couple now want to hold Tyrone Dotcie accountable.
Dotcie was reported to have had returned to college. The phone number he gave to the police no longer works and Dotcie is said to have gotten a red Cadillac car.
"I mean really, just move on down the road," Jon Bever said.
The police Dash Camera recorded Tyrone Dotcie asking about the people that he had hit, but the Bevers say that it was not a good enough excuse.
"He made a choice to drive, without insurance. He made a choice to get behind the wheel. He made the choice to drive out of control and almost took the lives of two individuals and I think there needs to be some accountability there," Jon Bever said.
Warrants are now being issued for Tyrone Dotcie, due to his multiple failure to show up for court hearings. Additional citation for not having insurance may also be included in his hearing.
First-time offenders may be fined up to $350, plus court costs. Repeat offenders may also face to a two-year driver license suspension.
The skid mark where Dotcie hit the Bevers still remain, just before Little Flatrock Creek. A new guardrail was installed where the car went airborne and crashed.
Source: KETK "Uninsured driver only fined for speeding after crash". Staff, February 10, 2014