A pedestrian was fatally struck by a suspected drunk driver on a Phoenix sidewalk on Tuesday night and the driver is now behind bars.
According to the authorities, Thomas Taraba, 35, and another person were walking along the sidewalk of McDowell Road near the intersection with 37th Street at around 11 p.m. 20-year-old Zachary Showers then drove his Chevy Aveo off the road and onto the sidewalk, striking Taraba and sending him 75 feet through the air.
Taraba was hospitalized and later died there. The person he was walking with was not injured.
Showers continued driving along McDowell Street before parking at an apartment building near 43rst Street and fleeing his vehicle. He then returned to the scene and asked officers about what had happened. He eventually mentioned being the driver but denied that he had struck anyone, according to the police.
The police said he appeared to be intoxicated and administered a blood alcohol content test, which measured at .154 – almost double the legal limit. Investigators found a red bumper and parts of a headlight at the scene, which were later matched to Showers’ vehicle at the apartment complex.
Showers has been charged with one count of manslaughter, leaving the scene of a fatal collision, and endangerment. He is being held without bond.
Attorney contributor Kevin Biniazin represents drunk driving crash victims and their families in civil lawsuits. Here is Kevin’s perspective on the legal options available to these victims and families in Arizona:
In the aftermath of a devastating drunk driving crash with serious injuries, it’s critical to consider the needs of the victims and their families. These individuals deserve financial compensation for the difficulties they face following the crash, such as hospital bills, lost wages, or funeral and burial expenses for the families of fatal crash victims.
In Arizona and many other states, there may be two types of claims available for people in this situation. A personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit can be filed against the drunk driver, while a dram shop lawsuit may (under certain conditions) be filed against an alcohol vendor who served that drunk driver before the crash.
Dram shop laws vary from state to state. In Arizona, alcohol vendors can be held liable for selling alcohol to someone who was either obviously intoxicated or under the age of 21.
A person may be considered “obviously intoxicated” under Arizona’s dram shop law if he or she is “inebriated to the extent that a person’s physical faculties are substantially impaired as shown by significantly uncoordinated physical action or significant physical dysfunction that would have been obvious to a reasonable person.
If you or someone you love has recently been injured or killed after being hit by a drunk driver in Arizona, you can learn more about your family’s legal options by speaking with an experienced drunk driving accident victims lawyer.