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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:A jury convicted appellant David Michael McCown of failing to stop and render aid and driving while intoxicated (DWI). On Aug. 18, 2002, McCown was involved in a car accident with Javier Bueno-Perez. The accident occurred when McCown took an unprotected left turn at an intersection and crashed head-on into Perez’s vehicle. Susan Phillips and her husband witnessed the accident and stopped to see if McCown and Perez were injured. Phillips, a nurse, immediately went to McCown’s truck. Phillips testified that she told McCown to stay still, but he refused and crawled out of his vehicle through the window. McCown then staggered across the street without inquiring into Perez’s condition. Phillips also checked on Perez. Phillips testified that Perez was in pain having sustained some kind of impact to his chest. An ambulance later came and took Perez to the hospital. McCown apparently made his way to a restaurant about a quarter of a mile away from the scene of the accident. He was later arrested at the restaurant, and charged with DWI and failure to stop and render aid. HOLDING:Affirmed. Because Texas Transportation Code �550.021 does not prescribe a culpable mental state for commission of the offense or plainly dispense with the need to prove culpability, the state was required to prove that McCown acted with one of the culpable mental states found in Texas Penal Code �6.02. Texas courts have listed the elements of the offense of failure to stop and render aid as follows: 1. an operator of a vehicle; 2. intentionally or knowingly; 3. involved in an accident; 4. resulting in personal injury or death; 5. fails to stop and render reasonable assistance. Steen v. State, 640 S.W.2d 912 (Tex. Crim. App. 1982). The fifth element can be satisfied by proof that an operator of a vehicle knowingly involved in an accident involving injury or death failed to provide any person injured in the accident reasonable assistance if it was apparent that treatment was necessary. “There is no requirement that an accused must have positive, subjective knowledge of the nature or extent of injury resulting from the collision. Such a prerequisite would defeat the public interest, which is served by requiring drivers involved in collisions to stop, provide specified information, and render assistance if necessary. Instead, constructive knowledge of the resulting injury is sufficient.” The testimony of Perez and Phillips is sufficient to establish that appellant knew or should have known of the injury to Perez, the court finds. “It is difficult to imagine any accident involving contact of this force between two automobiles in which a reasonable driver would not know that an injury was possible.” The court holds that a rational trier of fact could have found that McCown knew or should have had knowledge that Perez was injured and apparently needed treatment. OPINION:McCoy, J.; before Cayce, CJ; Dauphinot and McCoy, JJ. DISSENT:Dauphinot, J. “I must dissent from the opinion and judgment affirming Appellant’s conviction for the offense of failure to stop and render aid. Although I believe that the majority opinion correctly tracks the applicable statutes, it nevertheless conflicts with the holding of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in State v. Stevenson.”

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