Corrigan man arrested for alleged drunken racing death

Published: Mar. 26, 2015 at 2:08 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 26, 2015 at 7:45 PM CDT
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James Wheeler (Source: Angelina County Jail)
James Wheeler (Source: Angelina County Jail)
Mitchell Rhodes (Source: Angelina County Jail)
Mitchell Rhodes (Source: Angelina County Jail)

ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Authorities have made an arrest following the investigation of a November fatal accident in which a Corrigan man is accused of racing someone else on FM 706 while intoxicated.

James Tad Wheeler Jr., 30, is charged with second-degree intoxicated manslaughter with a vehicle, third-degree intoxicated assault with vehicle serious bodily injury and two counts of second-degree racing on highway causing serious bodily injury.

According to the DPS report, Wheeler was the driver of a 2005 GMC pickup, which had veered off the road and rolled over. Wheeler was allegedly racing with another vehicle at the time of the crash.Wheeler was treated and released at a Lufkin hospital. Two passengers, Sarah Lee Scott and Michael Grant Nash, were ejected from the pickup. Nash died at the scene and Scott was seriously injured.

Wheeler's blood-alcohol level later tested to be .145, according to an arrest affidavit. The affidavit states witnesses reported Wheeler was involved in a race with Mitchell Bradley Rhodes, 33, of Lufkin. He is being charged with racing on highway causing serious bodily injury and racing on highway causing bodily injury.

A warrant for Wheeler's arrest was signed on March 13. He was arrested on Wednesday.

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