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Wife grieves husband killed in wrong-way drunk driving crash: 'He took my life'

Melvin Taylor was killed by a wrong way drunk driver Monday morning. That driver already had three previous DUI convictions, according to records.

DALLAS — Melvin Taylor was killed by a drunk driver and now his family wants justice.

On Monday morning Melvin was driving home from a concrete pour, just a month after starting a brand new construction business. 

A little after 2 a.m. he was hit and killed by a drunk driver on the Dallas North Tollway, according to police. 

Chaz Halston Thames, 30, was arrested Monday and faces a charge of intoxication manslaughter with a vehicle. His bail is set at $100,000. Thames admitted to taking at least five shots before he drove the wrong way.

“I don’t hate him. I just hope that somehow he can get the help he needs so that this doesn’t happen to other people,” Melvin's wife Renee Taylor said. “When he did that he ended my life pretty much too. Now I have to go a whole new journey.”

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

Renee and Melvin were about to celebrate their 38th wedding anniversary. Melvin is a father to five.

“He gave so much to me and my family, just for someone to take it away so soon,” daughter Crystle Taylor said.

“He was the most giving person I have ever met,” daughter Evelyn Valdez said. “In fact the last Father’s Day I wrote, 'It is because of you that I learned to be a giving person.'"

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

WFAA asked the Texas Department of Criminal Justice about why he was released so soon after his 2016 sentence. They said they would have an answer on Thursday morning.

“Had somebody offered him a ride home, just something was in place to give this person a ride home, so he had not gotten behind the wheel, I would have had a husband today,” Renee said. “Why was he allowed to have a driver license?”

Melvin is a Veteran of both the Marines and the Army. He is missed by his family.

“He took my life,” Renee said. “He took a grandfather, he took from my daughter who wants to get married one day and have her father walk her down the aisle.”

“I’m not saying my dad’s life is more important than the next person who died in a car crash, but I just wish people were less selfish,” Evelyn said.

“I just wish he would have made it home,” Crystle said.  

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