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Manslaughter Charges For Texas Teacher Accused Of Killing 16-Year-Old In High Speed Crash

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) — A grand jury has indicted a former North Texas school teacher for manslaughter after a high-speed crash that killed a Mesquite teenager in Dallas.

Rickala Chaffold
(credit: Dallas Police Department)

Prosecutors say Rickala Chaffold was behind the wheel of a car that ran into a group of motorcycle riders along Interstate Highway 635 on February 22, 2021.

The driver of one of the motorcycles, 16-year-old Atreyu Gowen of Mesquite, was pronounced deceased at the scene of the crash. A second motorcyclist, 28-year-old Paul Arnett of Dallas, was seriously injured.

According to, investigators used surveillance video and determined that Chaffold was driving at 117 miles per hour six seconds prior to the crash. The two motorcyclists were allegedly traveling at 72 miles per hour.

The grand jury said Chaffold was 'operating a motor vehicle at an unsafe speed and a speed not prudent for the conditions."

Chaffold was a teacher at Forney High School since 2020.

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