Driver who hit UT Tyler basketball player uninsured, has multiple citations for not having insurance

Published on Tuesday, 7 November 2017 17:17 - Written by LOUANNA CAMPBELL, lcampbell@tylerpaper.com

The driver who struck and seriously injured a UT Tyler basketball player on campus last month was not insured and had been cited five days earlier for driving without insurance, according to Smith County Judicial records. 

The Oct. 22 auto-pedestrian wreck that landed 21-year-old UT Tyler student Justin Bartie in intensive care was the driver's fourth citation for failure to maintain financial responsibility, a misdemeanor traffic offense.

A Texas Department of Transportation crash report indicates Bartie was walking in the 2700 block of Old Omen Road shortly after 4:30 p.m. Oct. 22 when he was struck by a 2008 Volkswagen Rabbit driven by a 32-year-old Tyler woman. Investigators were not able to determine who was at fault, but the Volkswagen's driver was cited for failing to maintain financial responsibility and her vehicle was towed. 

The investigator was not able to determine if Bartie was walking in the shoulder of the roadway or the southbound lane of traffic, and Bartie was not able to give any details to the investigator because he couldn't remember the accident, according to the crash report.

The investigating officer said the driver reported that she was driving in the southbound lane when she struck Bartie. She told police she did not see Bartie until she hit him, according to the crash report. 

The report went on to say that the investigating officer saw tire marks on the roadway, but was unable to determine where the collision occurred based on where the tire marks were located. 

Smith County judicial records indicate the driver has been cited at least three times previously for driving without insurance. Two of those violations were in Smith County, the most recent occurring on Oct. 17, according to judicial records. A fine of $306 was assessed by the justice of the peace for that violation. As of Tuesday, the fine had not been paid.  

Bartie remains in intensive care in fair condition.

It is the policy of the Tyler Morning Telegraph not to release the names of people charged with misdemeanor offenses.