Kenedy, TX — Texas DPS troopers have identified 25-year old Alexander Smalling as one of the four men who was killed last Sunday morning (May 19, 2013) after a fatal accident on Highway 72. They stated that four men were killed and a motorcyclist was injured after an accident with an 18-wheeler at about 12:15 a.m. just south of Kenedy.
According to their reports, a Honda Civic was westbound on Highway 72 early Sunday morning and was carrying four men, including Smalling. The men in the Honda plus a motorcyclist in front of them were reportedly working for J.C. Fodale Energy Services and were headed back to a drilling rig site that morning.
Near FM 1145, both the motorcycle and the Honda tried to pass an 18-wheeler along Highway 72 as it was making a left-hand turn at the intersection. As both vehicles swerved into the opposite lanes of traffic, the motorcyclist laid down his bike in an effort to avoid a collision and proceeded to slide underneath the trailer of the 18-wheeler.
The Honda was unable to avoid the collision and slammed into the back-right portion of the truck’s trailer, killing all four men inside immediately, including Alexander Smalling. The motorcyclist, who was listed as 28-year old Phillip Bartref, was taken to a nearby hospital by responding paramedics to be treated for serious injuries.
DPS troopers remained at the scene for several hours conducting their investigation, noting that the Honda and motorcycle had just come from Desperados Saloon – a nearby bar in Kenedy. The matter remains under investigation and the names of the other victims have not been released.
Scene of the Accident
Many people would look at this accident and assume that either the 18-wheeler made an illegal turn or the other two vehicles tried to execute an improper pass on the highway. However, I would like to point out to my readers that this accident is an example of why an early investigation is incredibly important. First, we don’t know all the facts here, but the news reports are claiming that the victims had just come from a nearby bar in the early morning hours. Now, if alcohol played a role in this accident, I would certainly recommend that an in-depth investigation into that bar be launched. Why? There may be more to this accident than meets the eye; just as a driver has a responsibility to remain sober behind the wheel, a licensed bar in Texas has a responsibility not to over-serve alcohol to a customer who is already intoxicated. When this happens, it’s not only a violation of the TABC, but Texas Dram Shop Law states that the bar can be held liable for an accident if that customer is allowed to leave and get behind the wheel. In many cases, video footage and sales receipts can be recovered if the investigation process is started early enough. However, it’s not uncommon for a bar to try and cover its tracks to avoid suspicion after an accident as serious as this one.
— Grossman Law Offices