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Big Sandy, Texas News

Big Sandy Man Arrested for Fatal DUI Crash and Vehicle Theft

William Chaplinski

A Big Sandy man, William Charles Chaplinski, 22, has been accused of stealing a truck and charged with intoxication manslaughter following a fatal crash on Highway 155 North.

The incident occurred on Friday, September 8, 2023, at approximately 11 p.m. when the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) responded to a two-vehicle collision on Highway 155, just south of Winona, as detailed in an affidavit. According to the document, Chaplinski was traveling south and attempted to pass another vehicle in a no-passing zone. In the process, he collided head-on with a northbound SUV.

Upon arrival at the scene, a trooper found Chaplinski in an ambulance receiving treatment from EMS. Allegedly, there was a strong odor of alcohol on Chaplinski's breath, and his eyes appeared bloodshot and glassy. Inside the SUV on the east side of Highway 155, a single man was found deceased, although his identity has not been disclosed at this time.

The affidavit states that the trooper concluded Chaplinski had lost control of his mental and physical faculties due to alcohol consumption. Consequently, Chaplinski was arrested on a charge of intoxication manslaughter with a vehicle and transported to a nearby hospital for treatment of his injuries. A blood test, conducted with a warrant, was also administered as evidence. Following his hospital release, Chaplinski was booked into the Smith County Jail.

Additionally, the affidavit suggests that Chaplinski was informed of the fatality resulting from the crash and reportedly displayed no remorse toward the victim's family.

On Saturday, authorities contacted the owner of the truck William Chaplinski had been driving, identified as Willard Edwin Chaplinski. He indicated that the vehicle had been stolen sometime between 9:45 p.m. the previous night and 7 a.m. that morning. Consequently, William Chaplinski was also charged with unauthorized use of a vehicle.

Chaplinski's total bond has been established at $600,000.

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