Drunk Driver Sentenced for Fatal Midland Crash


MIDLAND, TX — In a tragic incident stemming from August 2022, Jesus Castanon, a 34-year-old man hailing from Laredo, now faces a five-year prison sentence for intoxication manslaughter. This verdict comes in the wake of an exhaustive investigation conducted by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and a subsequent trial held in Midland County.

The fateful incident unfolded on Interstate 20, where Castanon, navigating his truck tractor eastbound, succumbed to drowsiness behind the wheel. The ensuing collision with the guardrail led to a blown-out tire, propelling the vehicle into westbound traffic. The catastrophic result was a fatal head-on collision with a Jeep driven by 82-year-old Granvil Lee Oden of Lovington, NM, who tragically lost his life instantly.

The Texas DPS investigation unveiled that Castanon's blood alcohol concentration at the time of the incident was 0.14, nearly twice the legal limit for intoxication in Texas. This pivotal evidence played a decisive role in the subsequent legal proceedings. On Thursday, a Midland County jury sentenced Castanon to five years in prison, coupled with a $5,000 fine. The severity of the charges prompted the jury to dismiss his plea for a probated sentence. Furthermore, the jury classified Castanon's truck as a deadly weapon, underscoring the potential peril associated with impaired driving.

Manslaughter Conviction

Manslaughter Conviction

(Credit: Midland County Mug Shot)

As part of the sentencing, Castanon must serve at least one-half of the five-year term before becoming eligible for parole. This outcome underscores the legal repercussions of driving under the influence and emphasizes the devastating impact such actions can have on innocent lives.

The Midland County District Attorney's Office has reiterated its commitment to holding individuals accountable for their actions, particularly in cases involving intoxication manslaughter. The verdict serves as a poignant reminder of the imperative need for responsible and sober driving to safeguard the well-being of all road users.

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