Wrong-Way Driver In Deadly Wreck Had Parkinson’s Disease

By Stephanie Lucero, CBS 11 News

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.com) – The driver of a pickup truck who hit another motorist while traveling the wrong way on U.S. Highway 287 was suffering from Parkinson’s Disease.

61-year-old Michael Hairston was killed when he slammed into Terry Debo’s vehicle head on Monday night.  Debo also died in the wreck.

According to Hairston’s daughter, Amy Hull, her father had Parkinson’s Disease but had recently been tested by a doctor and cleared to drive.

About an hour before the head-on collision, Hairston had been involved in a fender bender on Saginaw Boulevard about six miles from the second wreck.  Michael Francis says Hairston ran a red light and hit him from behind.

“I thought he was inebriated,” says Francis.

It’s not clear why Saginaw Police allowed Hairston to leave the scene of the first wreck even though he showed signs of impairment.

Police say the officer who responded to the wreck is off-duty until Saturday and they have no information about the officer’s decision to let Hairston drive away on his own.

Dr. Charlece Hughes, a D.O. with Texas Health – Fort Worth, said Parkinson’s Disease is gradual. Patients don’t suddenly lose awareness of their surroundings. Family members would know if their loved one was unable to drive. Hughes said something else may have caused the accidents, including a stroke or a seizure.

(C) Copyright 2010 CBS Local Media.  All rights reserved.


One Comment

  1. saginawredneck says:

    The officers most likely know him. If he were to be another color races. He would be in jail. Saginaw is racist. the officer who responded to the wreck is off-duty until Saturday???? that another b.s from saginaw cop

    1. Allen says:

      saginawredneck, YOU ARE AN IDIOT!

  2. White guy says:

    He was allowed to leave the scene because his skin was the correct color: caucasian.

  3. Amy says:

    The officer’s did not know my father. Please don’t be so quick to judge.

  4. Hank says:

    Some elderly will “switch” back and forth, especially when tested for mental impairment. They can be sharp as a tack when being grilled by a police officer or a doctor, then fall to pieces the instant they walk out the door.

  5. Laura says:

    Readers, show some compassion. No doubt Amy and her family are heartbroken over the loss of her father and the loss of Terri Debo. This is a horrible tragedy for both families involved.

  6. Greg says:

    I see a pattern. About this time last year, a teenager who claimed to have dropped her cell phone, plowed into me without braking while I was turning into a Saginaw restaurant. When the office arrived, she had an epileptic siezure. The police report had few details about the collision, but placed fault on me. Perhaps the Saginaw police are too sympathetic to those behind the wheel with disabling illnesses.

  7. BigAl says:

    I saw the investigation from the Walmart parking lot. There were several emergency vehicles, and lots of public safety professionals. If Mr. Hairston were impaired, one or more of them would have noticed and taken action. As for saginawredneck – what a dolt.

  8. Kelly says:

    Unfortunately it’s a knee jerk reaction to place blame when someone is killed. But has Laura said earlier, His family is suffering also. It was an accident. Amy- my sincere condolences for you. Terry and I lost our dad this past Labor Day so I know that pain all too well. Please please know, I am praying for you and your family that God give you strength. I know it will be hard but try and have a Merry CHRISTmas.

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