SEAGOVILLE –– The 53-year-old driver whose young grandson was killed when he crashed into a pole on Sunday night has been charged with intoxication manslaughter.
Seagoville resident Tony Lynn Dickerson was taken into custody after failing a field sobriety test, according to an arrest affidavit. At 8:41 p.m., police were dispatched to 2500 W. Simonds Rd. in unincorporated Dallas County following reports that a pickup truck had careened into a pole.
The passenger, Josiah Dickerson, 5, was taken to Children’s Medical Center. He was pronounced dead at 9:01 p.m.
Back at the scene, the elder Dickerson told police that he was taking his grandson down the street from his home when “he lost control of the vehicle coming around the curve due to rocks and sand on the road way,” the affidavit says.
The boy's mother said Josiah often lobbied his grandfather to give him rides in the truck. She said she doesn't blame her father in the fatal wreck and that he lives with the family.
"He's just been his role model all his life and that is who he has looked up to, that's who he has learned from," she said. "We're a tight family. I don't want someone making him out for something that he isn't."
Dickerson told the officer he started drinking at 3 p.m. and had consumed “about six Michelob light beers.” The policeman asked Dickerson to perform a field sobriety test. The affidavit says he failed the eye exam and began the walk and turn test too soon. He also turned improperly, according to the document.
Dickerson also put his foot down too early during the one leg stand test. He was arrested and submitted to a voluntary blood exam, the results of which have not been finalized.
"I just don't want people to think that my dad was a drunk and he was, you know ... drinking and driving and stuff like that," Dickerson said. "I talked with him and he was like, 'Tiffany, just please forgive me. Please forgive me.'"
Dickerson is being held at the Dallas County Jail on $50,000 bond. Court records show he pled guilty to aggravated robbery in 1978 and to unlawfully carrying a weapon in 1983.
News 8's Sebastian Robertson contributed to this report