Thomas Burke, 68, of Garland was sentenced to four years in prison probated for four years and 10 years deferred adjudication Thursday for causing a multiple vehicle wreck that injured three people in downtown Sherman in March of 2018.
Burke was indicted on three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and three counts of accident involving injury. In November, he pleaded guilty to two counts of accident involving injury and one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
Thursday, Judge Jim Fallon, in the 15th state district court, told Burke he was lucky no one was more seriously injured in the wreck.
“That was a long way to go from 75 to up here,” Fallon said referring to the trek Burke made from where he got off U.S. 75 at the Houston/Lamar exit and then struck a car. He then went north on Lamar at a high rate of speed and struck a service truck that then hit other cars.
Burke testified he didn’t remember anything after he got on U.S. Highway 75 near his home in Garland and headed to Lake Texoma.
Fallon said in sentencing Burke, he took into account Burke’s age and his lack of criminal history. Though Burke admitted to being a drinker for more than 30 years, he said it was mostly social drinking until shortly before the wreck happened.
In addition to the 10 years deferred adjudication on the charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, Fallon also sentenced Burke to two terms of four years in prison on the accident involving injury charges and then probated those sentences for four years.
According to previously published reports, Burke was driving a white SUV back on March 8, 2018 when he struck three vehicles at the intersection with U.S. Highway 75 while going east on Lamar Street.
Witnesses at the scene said that Burke left in his vehicle after the crash and continued toward the town square. There, he collided with several vehicles at Lamar’s intersection with Crockett Street.
One of the vehicles struck near the Grayson County Courthouse was forced off the roadway, and onto the sidewalk, where it damaged a window at A Touch of Class Antique Mall. A work truck was also struck in the crash, scattering tools, equipment and its bumper along Lamar Street.