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Driver says he had five shots before deadly wrong-way crash on Dallas North Tollway, warrant says

Chaz Thames had three drunken-driving convictions in North Texas prior to crashing head-on into a car Monday.
Credit: WFAA
Chaz Halston Thames

A man admitted to taking at least five shots before he drove the wrong way on the Dallas North Tollway, crashing head-on into another car and killing the driver, a warrant says.

Chaz Halston Thames, 30, was arrested Monday on a charge of intoxication manslaughter with a vehicle. His bail is set at $100,000. 

According to records, Thames had three previous driving while intoxicated convictions before the deadly crash:

  • March, 4, 2011: Sentenced to 180 days in Fort Worth
  • May, 1, 2013: Sentenced to 30 days in Fort Worth
  • Nov. 21, 2016: Sentenced to 10 years in Tarrant County

Police say Thames was driving northbound in the southbound lanes of the Dallas North Tollway when he crashed head-on into 57-year-old Melvin Anthoney Taylor's car early Monday. 

Called to the scene just after 2 a.m., a responding officer found Taylor dead inside the driver's seat of his car.

RELATED: Southbound Dallas North Tollway reopened after fatal crash

Thames' vehicle, a 2012 Range Rover, was found on its side.

According to the warrant, the SUV caught on fire and an officer used his baton to break through the sunroof and then pulled out Thames, who was taken to Parkland Memorial Hospital. 

At the hospital, Thames told police he was disoriented and believed he was driving west on Interstate 30 when he crashed his SUV into Taylor's car in the southbound lanes of the Dallas North Tollway, the warrant says. 

The officer who interviewed Thames said he failed a sobriety test given at the hospital. 

"His eyes were glossy, he admitted to consuming alcohol prior to crashing by stating that he drank five shots of liquor," the warrant says.

Results from a blood test taken at Parkland Memorial Hospital are pending.

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