• April 15, 2019

UPDATE: Joel Evans Howell Killed in Three Rivers, TX, Car Accident

UPDATE (April 29, 2019): A crash report from the Texas Department of Transportation is available below.

Joel Howell Accident Report

Three Rivers, TX -- April 10, 2019, Joel Evans Howell sustained fatal injuries after an accident where a pickup backed into his car on the interstate.

According to preliminary investigations conducted by the Texas Department of Public Safety, the crash happened at around 1:00 a.m. along I-37, just north of town.

In their reports, police officials stated that 38-year-old Howell was driving a car southbound along the highway. Ahead, a pickup reportedly reversed from the shoulder into the right lane of travel. As a result, the car crashed into the back of the pickup.

Due to the severity of the crash, Howell succumbed to fatal injuries at the scene. The pickup driver was examined at a local hospital before police arrested him. Specific charges weren't released.

Investigations are ongoing.

Commentary

Needless to say, backing onto an interstate is an unusual thing to do, and one can't help but wonder why someone would do something so dangerous. At 1:00 a.m., one common factor to consider is drunk driving. If police reports end up saying alcohol contributed to this crash, it's important to look into the matter thoroughly to find out where the driver got their alcohol.

The reason for this is because in Texas, Dram Shop Law states that a licensed alcohol vendor that over-serves alcohol to an obviously intoxicated customer can be liable for damages resulting from that person's intoxication. When an alcohol provider illegally serves someone, they're putting the community in danger. As such, the law sees fit to punish these establishments when their reckless actions get someone hurt or killed.

While police tend to pursue action against drunk drivers, they rarely do so for the negligent alcohol providers who serve them. Getting those facts is usually up to victims and families themselves. It's not clear yet if alcohol is a factor here, but there are far too many red flags to ignore. The sooner investigators examine this tragedy more thoroughly, the sooner the victim's loved ones get some answers.

--Grossman Law Offices

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