In accident's aftermath, a family gat...

In accident's aftermath, a family gathers to mourn

There are 54 comments on the A liberal dose story from Feb 25, 2008, titled In accident's aftermath, a family gathers to mourn. In it, A liberal dose reports that:

“I can never say enough about what a bad decision it is to drink and drive”

ARLINGTON -- Nogaelda Zavala worked in her church and with children all the time, relatives said. She took people to vacation Bible school and tried to help even when she had no money to give.

On Friday night, she planned to pick up her husband from his job as a custodial worker at a Mansfield school, then return with her daughter to a mother-daughter retreat at their church, Primera Iglesia Bautista of Arlington.

But just before midnight, a truck driven by a 17-year-old suspected of driving drunk crossed the centerline on Debbie Lane and slammed into Zavala's car, killing her and injuring her children and the passenger in the truck. Read more

Join the discussion below, or Read more at A liberal dose.

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Sky

United States

#1 Feb 25, 2008
Brandon Burchfield, you deserve to be convicted. All of your empty headed friends are praying for you. What about Mrs. Zavala and her kids? What about her husband? You don't matter. They should be praying for them. I knew who you were and could tell it was a matter of time. Look at your myspace man, all beer. Congratulations, your life is over. Welcome to reality, get over yourself.
joyce

Mesquite, TX

#2 Feb 27, 2008
yeah its sad and wrong that he killed someone because he was drinking and driving and he made a huge mistake that just screwed him over but ive known him for a long time and im not going to wish the worst for him im still praying for him and for the woman i didnt know her so its harder for us that know brandon to want to pray for her when we are thinking about our loved one
Karen

Dallas, TX

#3 Feb 27, 2008
I know Brandon and I do not condone his actions - they were definitely wrong. I am married to someone who's father was killed by a drunk driver. We can relate to each side and no matter how you look at it - it's terribly sad all the way around. I have prayed many times for the Zavala family - I feel horrible for her kids and pray for them every time I think of this tragedy. I have also prayed for Brandon and his family as well as those who were with Brandon. Many lives have been forever changed by this forever. Unless you lead the perfect life and can walk on water I do not think you should judge. My husband who's father was killed by a drunk driver has dealt with many emotions over the past few days. He still can look past his own situation and feel for all of those whose lives have been effected.
Sky

United States

#4 Feb 28, 2008
I've known him a long time too and you could just tell. This is exactly why I chose to stop hanging with him. Judging?? It was a long time coming, don't be naive. Sorry but I've never killed someone because of an idiotic decision to drive under the influence. Nobody's perfect, but some more than others. Something was bound to happen. It's good to see that at least someone he knows is praying for the other side of the fence too. I don't wish this kind of thing on anyone but hey, it happened and now he's going to go through the system just like he should.
Someone who cares

Rowlett, TX

#5 Feb 28, 2008
As I read about the tragedy I would like to know where are the parents in all this. It looks like he had alot of beer parties at someones home. I think that the person that gave him the beer and the place the partying was going on should all be charges brought against them. They apparently let him leave the party intoxicated. He is a 17 year old looking at life of prison over a stupid mistake. I do beleive he deserves to be punished.So when is the jusdicial system going to stand up and charge all parties involved.There are plenty of friends of his that were at that party that can talk and tell the truth. He is not the only one that needs to go down for this death. I too also pray for both sides of the family even though I did not know any of them. May God be with them all.
Alex

Dallas, TX

#6 Feb 28, 2008
Why does everybody blame the family? They weren't there with him. Sky how did you know brandon so well if you think he is the most horrible person to walk this earth? Yeah some people are better than others but you judging him just goes to show that you obviously aren't much better than him.
tiffani

United States

#7 Feb 28, 2008
sky.. whoever you are. Really you dont know what your talking about Brandon has the best heart out of anyone I have ever met. He did make a mistake and a big one at that but that still doesn't mean he deserves any of this. You dont know how much he feels for the Zavala family he is so crushed about what he did and you saying he deserved everything? No, he does deserve to be punished but life in prison? Again, no. I'm pretty sure all of his "empty headed freinds" are doing the right thing by praying for him. But maybe you should get over yourself and pray for him too. Nobody like Brandon deserves this. And all Brandons friends are praying for everybody. He does matter too.
Joe was there

Irving, TX

#8 Feb 28, 2008
I knew mrs. savala growing up. I know her family. I was at the funeral and was honored to be asked to be a pallbearer at the ceremony. I saw a grown man cry as they lowered his wife in to the ground. I saw a the eyes of a daughter who now has no mother as she grows to be a woman. There is a very young child who will be confined to a wheel chair for a long time as a result of this accident. We live in the bible belt where we are taught to forgive. However, I have no forgiveness for this young man. He is yet another face who thought he could live his life w/o consequences. It's too late for anger. There are always the typical questions. Where were his parents? I seriously doubt this was his first night of drinking? Do people at his school not bother to review myspace? How did someone not catch all the signs? These are not the questions that really keep me up late. What bothers me is all the people who say they are praying for this young man. Who are all these people who swear he has a good heart and that they are praying for him? Where were you? Did you think he was funny? Did you enjoy partying w/ him? Did you call the school? Did you speak to his parents? I think you didn't care about him then and you don't care about him now. Your "praying" is your guilt for not keeping your responsibility to society. That is the real tragedy.
Raymond Covert

Atlanta, GA

#9 Mar 1, 2008
I've been a friend of the Burchfield family for approx 10 years. It is of my experience that the consequence and pain that the parents are feeling and thus the family, is matched by their regret and sadness for the Zavala family. Meeting with Brandon during his lock up has given alot of reflection to those who drink and/or drink and drive and sometimes the ripple effect brings positivity out of a devastating situation.

Brandon's behavior in jail is not just changed because what he faces, but many realities have surfaced for him and what he faces is greater than that of the justice system. We can't change what happened. The kid might of had a "jacked up" my space, but he's had no priors and he was gaining attention of what is thought to be "cool" out there. He has more remorse than you think, and I personally am saddened everday for all parties involved....My condolences for the Zavala family...we pray and hope for your healing...
-Raymond Covert [email protected]
Raymond Covert

Atlanta, GA

#10 Mar 1, 2008
joyce wrote:
yeah its sad and wrong that he killed someone because he was drinking and driving and he made a huge mistake that just screwed him over but ive known him for a long time and im not going to wish the worst for him im still praying for him and for the woman i didnt know her so its harder for us that know brandon to want to pray for her when we are thinking about our loved one
I've been a friend of the Burchfield family for approx 10 years. It is of my experience that the consequence and pain that the parents are feeling and thus the family, is matched by their regret and sadness for the Zavala family. Meeting with Brandon during his lock up has given alot of reflection to those who drink and/or drink and drive and sometimes the ripple effect brings positivity out of a devastating situation.

Brandon's behavior in jail is not just changed because what he faces, but many realities have surfaced for him and what he faces is greater than that of the justice system. We can't change what happened. The kid might of had a "jacked up" my space, but he's had no priors and he was gaining attention of what is thought to be "cool" out there. He has more remorse than you think, and I personally am saddened everday for all parties involved....My condolences for the Zavala family...we pray and hope for your healing...
-Raymond Covert [email protected]
Raymond Covert

Atlanta, GA

#11 Mar 1, 2008
Joe was there wrote:
I knew mrs. savala growing up. I know her family. I was at the funeral and was honored to be asked to be a pallbearer at the ceremony. I saw a grown man cry as they lowered his wife in to the ground. I saw a the eyes of a daughter who now has no mother as she grows to be a woman. There is a very young child who will be confined to a wheel chair for a long time as a result of this accident. We live in the bible belt where we are taught to forgive. However, I have no forgiveness for this young man. He is yet another face who thought he could live his life w/o consequences. It's too late for anger. There are always the typical questions. Where were his parents? I seriously doubt this was his first night of drinking? Do people at his school not bother to review myspace? How did someone not catch all the signs? These are not the questions that really keep me up late. What bothers me is all the people who say they are praying for this young man. Who are all these people who swear he has a good heart and that they are praying for him? Where were you? Did you think he was funny? Did you enjoy partying w/ him? Did you call the school? Did you speak to his parents? I think you didn't care about him then and you don't care about him now. Your "praying" is your guilt for not keeping your responsibility to society. That is the real tragedy.
I've been a friend of the Burchfield family for approx 10 years. It is of my experience that the consequence and pain that the parents are feeling and thus the family, is matched by their regret and sadness for the Zavala family. Meeting with Brandon during his lock up has given alot of reflection to those who drink and/or drink and drive and sometimes the ripple effect brings positivity out of a devastating situation.

Brandon's behavior in jail is not just changed because what he faces, but many realities have surfaced for him and what he faces is greater than that of the justice system. We can't change what happened. The kid might of had a "jacked up" my space, but he's had no priors and he was gaining attention of what is thought to be "cool" out there. He has more remorse than you think, and I personally am saddened everday for all parties involved....My condolences for the Zavala family...we pray and hope for your healing...
-Raymond Covert [email protected]
dot- arlington

United States

#12 Mar 3, 2008
Someone who cares wrote:
As I read about the tragedy I would like to know where are the parents in all this. It looks like he had alot of beer parties at someones home. I think that the person that gave him the beer and the place the partying was going on should all be charges brought against them. They apparently let him leave the party intoxicated. He is a 17 year old looking at life of prison over a stupid mistake. I do beleive he deserves to be punished.So when is the jusdicial system going to stand up and charge all parties involved.There are plenty of friends of his that were at that party that can talk and tell the truth. He is not the only one that needs to go down for this death. I too also pray for both sides of the family even though I did not know any of them. May God be with them all.
I can tell you where the parents were..... To busy making sure the house was clean and worrying about themselves.. I'm sorry I know that alot of the times it is not the parents fault, but this time it was. All he wanted was attention and when he didn't get it he acted out. You know the only reason they let him drop out of school at age 15 is because they did not want to pay truancy fines, all they cared about was themselves. The mother would not even take him to school. Brandon clung to us because we gave him attention and that whole time he hung out with us he respected us, we helped him with his homework, made him dinner and all the other stuff parents should do. We moved and therefore could not be there for him so he went wild he used to cuss at his parents and tell them they were making him mad so they would let him get away with everything. Also how many cars does your son have to total before you stop buying them for him. It's just like buying the bullets for the gun. I know not 3 weeks before the tragedy he totaled a car drag racing. I know of one other car he has totaled, does he even have a driver's liscence, I was under the impression you could not get one until you were 18 if you dropped out of school. And the big brother going on the news about teaching kids a lesson, how many DUI's does he have and how many cars has he totaled. he had no right at all to get on TV. He should have been setting a GOOD example for his little brother. I hope everyone reads this and knows just how involved the parents were they did not want to get on his bad side so they gave in.
60 Hood Brat

Lewisville, TX

#13 May 8, 2008
Well since Brandon was involved in 2 , yes 2 wrecks, I'd say he hasnt learned a thing.

Is he out of jail on the racing charges yet ? I hope not. That punk should never drive again. I dont want to be on the same roads as him.

2 wrecked out cars/trucks within a few day period. What the hell is wrong with his parents ??? They should of never allowed him to drive again. Maybe the mother would be alive today.
Mom in South Arlington

Dallas, TX

#14 May 8, 2008
Wow - All you people who defended him after the initial wreck ... and now a second wreck racing. What are you thinking now? I am wondering? I feel so bad for the Zavala family.
Raymond Covert wrote:
I've been a friend of the Burchfield family for approx 10 years. It is of my experience that the consequence and pain that the parents are feeling and thus the family, is matched by their regret and sadness for the Zavala family. Meeting with Brandon during his lock up has given alot of reflection to those who drink and/or drink and drive and sometimes the ripple effect brings positivity out of a devastating situation.
Brandon's behavior in jail is not just changed because what he faces, but many realities have surfaced for him and what he faces is greater than that of the justice system. We can't change what happened. The kid might of had a "jacked up" my space, but he's had no priors and he was gaining attention of what is thought to be "cool" out there. He has more remorse than you think, and I personally am saddened everday for all parties involved....My condolences for the Zavala family...we pray and hope for your healing...
-Raymond Covert [email protected]
60 Hood Brat

Lewisville, TX

#15 May 9, 2008
I remember his friends on various boards posting that he wasnt drunk, he dropped his ipod, blah blah blah...trying to take the blame off of Brandon Burchfield. Funny, they never mentioned that 8 days earlier, he was involved in a racing wreck. He was just recently arrested on that felony charge for the racing wreck. IF his parents gave him that truck to drive that he was drunk driving when the Debbie Ln. wreck occured...they should be prosecuted !!!! The parents have Mrs. Zavals blood on their hands too.
Mom in South Arlington wrote:
Wow - All you people who defended him after the initial wreck ... and now a second wreck racing. What are you thinking now? I am wondering? I feel so bad for the Zavala family.
<quoted text>
Person of interest

Dallas, TX

#16 Jun 8, 2008
I know Brandon as well and I also know his passenger. To those on here who posted that Brandon has a good heart, I have to say that you have your opinion and I am sure that it's a very young opinion. It seems that the general opinion of Brandon is not a good one and I for one agree.
Brandon may not have any criminal priors but as far as prior wrecks, I know of 3 prior to the two he has been charged with. I know for a fact he fled the scene of atleast one of those 3. I agree that his parents are to blame for alot of his actions but ultimately he made the decisions himself to act wrecklessly each and every time, never learning from any of those decisions.

As for Mr. Raymond Covert's comments,(WHATEVER!) Lets talk about how many DWI's you have received... I believe 5 and you are still drinking and driving... I also agree with the statement that his brother should of set a better example for him and he has no room to talk about teaching lessons or lessons learned. Mr. Raymond Covert you are an adult and you party with both of these boys, friend of the family for 10 years, well not the kind of friend I would want for my kids.

I don't believe that Brandon will ever understand the consequences of his actions. He killed an innocent woman, injured her little boy and he put a 19yr old boy in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. Yes, his passenger suffered a broken neck and is permanately paralyzed from the chest down. He has been in the hospital since the day of the accident, and still is. He faces years of rehabilitation and will most likely never walk again. I know both Brandon and his passenger. His passenger is a great guy. He's never wrecked a car, had a ticket or been in trouble with the law. He made a poor decision to trust Brandon that night. He will live with that forever.

Whatever god has planned for Brandon he does deserve it. Unfortunately it will never compare to what he has sentenced these innocent victims to! NEVER!

May god forgive him for what he has done.
Gavin F

Irving, TX

#17 Jul 1, 2008
I know this guy Raymond, I was a co-worker of his and he never had 5 DWI..s, he did have an issue drinking, but he was always a role model way above that Jason guy and got a degree and tried to help brandon stay a clear path all the time..
Gavin F

Irving, TX

#18 Jul 1, 2008
know this guy Raymond, I was a co-worker of his and he never had 5 DWI..s, he did have an issue drinking, but he was always a role model way above that Jason guy and got a degree and tried to help brandon stay a clear path all the time..
Person of interest wrote:
I know Brandon as well and I also know his passenger. To those on here who posted that Brandon has a good heart, I have to say that you have your opinion and I am sure that it's a very young opinion. It seems that the general opinion of Brandon is not a good one and I for one agree.
Brandon may not have any criminal priors but as far as prior wrecks, I know of 3 prior to the two he has been charged with. I know for a fact he fled the scene of atleast one of those 3. I agree that his parents are to blame for alot of his actions but ultimately he made the decisions himself to act wrecklessly each and every time, never learning from any of those decisions.
As for Mr. Raymond Covert's comments,(WHATEVER!) Lets talk about how many DWI's you have received... I believe 5 and you are still drinking and driving... I also agree with the statement that his brother should of set a better example for him and he has no room to talk about teaching lessons or lessons learned. Mr. Raymond Covert you are an adult and you party with both of these boys, friend of the family for 10 years, well not the kind of friend I would want for my kids.
I don't believe that Brandon will ever understand the consequences of his actions. He killed an innocent woman, injured her little boy and he put a 19yr old boy in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. Yes, his passenger suffered a broken neck and is permanately paralyzed from the chest down. He has been in the hospital since the day of the accident, and still is. He faces years of rehabilitation and will most likely never walk again. I know both Brandon and his passenger. His passenger is a great guy. He's never wrecked a car, had a ticket or been in trouble with the law. He made a poor decision to trust Brandon that night. He will live with that forever.
Whatever god has planned for Brandon he does deserve it. Unfortunately it will never compare to what he has sentenced these innocent victims to! NEVER!
May god forgive him for what he has done.
Person of interest

Dallas, TX

#19 Jul 9, 2008
Ok, so it may have been 4 DWI's, and maybe you didn't know him as well as you thought you did. You say Ray had a problem with drinking, well he still has a problem with drinking and it does include driving. He may have a degree of some sort,(school of hard knox maybe) but he has never been much of a role model. I hung around all of them, I have seen the drinking, the driving and the fighting and believe me Ray was a part of all of it. In fact he stayed with Jason and the passenger in Brandon's car accident in an apartment and stole money from them.
You claim he helped Brandon stay on a clean path, well I don't consider Brandon wrecking all those vehicles, leaving scenes of accidents, dropping out of school at 15, injuring 2 and killing someone at the age of 17 a clean path. Hello? You may know him as a co-worker from 8-5 where you are supposed to conduct yourself in a proper manner, but I know the real after 5 guy. Role model? I think not! Wouldn't want that kind of a role model for my kids!! But of course you are entitled to your own opinion.
Gavin F

Dallas, TX

#20 Jul 20, 2008
Wow! This lady really hates Raymond, maybe dated her daughter when he was drunk lol!

1) I spoke with Raymond about these allegations...He reported to me he was convicted of ONE DWI in 08/01, and was arrested 7 other times (all cases) DROPPED accept for ONE which is pending now for two years and on it's way to dismissal

2) Raymond (You may check with UNT records) did in fact graduate from UNT with a Degree in Sociology, and minor in ADR (ALternative Dispute Resolution.

3)Jason and Raymond are still good friends and Jason claims he never has stolen money from him. In fact Jason still owes for a car that Raymond put in his name and had repoed, and took Jason on a 10K+ trip to Vegas last year!!!(ask him yourself)

4) Raymond visited Mansfield High on several occasions and visited with Brandon's principal (you may check principal name is Mr. Morris) to attempt to mentor Brandon's behavioral problems and dislike for school, but was unsuccesful, not to mention he is not a parent...but he is a volunteer for big brothers big sisters since 2004

I noticed most of your blog is about Raymond, are you sure you are not an adversary to some of his drunken behavior of the past? He reports this to me as (what you may) be with the massive false info you have and obvious animosity towards him...
He apologizes to whomever you are about how he is when he is drunk

As a parent you should understand we all make mistakes, but considering Raymond's hardships and accomplishments he is an exceptional individual.. I will always defend him and You may verify everything I said with the proof I gave you!

cc: Raymond at [email protected]

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