“She saw things you wouldn’t believe, the strength in her daughters, the hope in her sons, the spiritual partner in her husband. She saw a need in her community and she would volunteer at the hospice whenever she could help,” said Christopher Lawler, son of a woman killed during a police chase gone wrong.
Ming-Yueh Bixler was a mother of four and was at a stoplight with her husband and a family friend when they were struck by the stolen semi truck driven by James Craig Layland as he attempted to escape police. Bixler’s husband Glenn was critically injured during the impact and still hasn’t fully recovered yet.
Layland kept driving the truck and escaped the scene. He was later found hiding in a nearby garage and was taken into custody, according to authorities.
On May 25, officer T. Shelton was attempting to question Layland in the parking lot of a convenience store when Layland took off in the stolen truck. Shelton jumped on the truck’s running board and ordered him to stop, but Layland sped off and hit a parked car, knocking Shelton to the ground. The officer was not seriously injured.
Police say Layland then drove about five blocks through an alley between Birchman and Calmont Avenues before hitting an SUV with Bixler and two other people inside and crashing into a garage.
Law investigators found that Layland’s capture ended crime spree that included identity theft, fraud, counterfeiting, and pet theft. He was captured with the identity and pet of an acquaintance, James Dale Morgan of Arizona, who was the victim of much of Layland’s crimes.
“I mean, all the way from the IRS to trying to buy a rig under my name,” Morgan said. “I got calls from doctors’ offices, doctors’ bills, calls for not showing up for appointments at a dentist. He also stole a checkbook and wrote three to four checks in Texas.”
The unfortunate night began when a clerk at a convenience store at the 5200 block of Birchman Ave. in Fort Worth notified authorities after Layland attempted to pass a counterfeit $100 bill.
James Layland was sentenced in a Texas court to 45 years in prison for Manslaughter on Wednesday.
This story was completed with material sourced from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.