By CLINT FOSTER
Texas Department of Public Safety officers arrested a man in connection with the death of Alton Harold Alexander.
Alexander, 61, was struck while riding his horse on U.S. Highway 180 West of Mineral Wells on Saturday night.
Texas Department of Public Safety Senior Trooper Gary M. Rozzell confirmed Wednesday that a DPS officer arrested Julian Morado, 38, of Mineral Wells, Sunday, for intoxication manslaughter with a vehicle, driving with an invalid license and failure to stop after an accident and render aid. Two of those charges are felonies.
Alexander was riding his horse, Swigs, and flagging traffic Saturday night next to a covered wagon, pulled by a mule team and full of his friends and family.
Alexander and his friends and family frequently made such trail rides for fun.
Morado was allegedly intoxicated when he hit Alexander with his 2002 Mazda Tribute SUV from behind, throwing Alexander off his horse.
Eyewitnesses report this was a hit-and-run.
Alexander was flown by Air Evac Lifeteam to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, where he was pronounced dead later that night.
His horse, Swigs, died that night as well, and was buried on the side of the road.
Coy Garland, Alexander’s “podnuh,” was riding his horse alongside the wagon on the night of the incident.
On Wednesday afternoon, he stood next to Alexander’s casket – made of beautiful wood with brands on the corners and Alexander’s black, felt cowboy hat and locks of Swigs’ hair resting on top.
Surrounded by friends and family Garland recalled the events of Saturday night.
Garland said this trail ride was in celebration of another podnuh’s birthday. They planned to have a good time riding around before they would stop at the grand opening of a new watering hole for food and a blind date he had set up for Alexander.