• May 17, 2019

One Killed in 18-Wheeler Accident at Highway 6 and Katy Fwy in Houston, TX

Houston, TX -- On May 17, 2019, one person was killed in a collision between a passenger car and an 18-wheeler on Highway 6 in Houston.

Authorities say the crash happened around 3:00 a.m. at Highway 6 and the Katy Freeway. The circumstances of the wreck aren't yet known, but reports say a car crashed into an 18-wheeler. The impact of the collision sheared the front of the semi truck's cab off and killed one person.

No further information is available as authorities investigate.

Commentary

There isn't much information yet about what caused these two vehicle to crash, but footage of police at the site shows both vehicles had severely damaged front ends and the wreck happened at an intersection controlled by traffic lights.

With these details in mind, it seems likely (though yet unproven) that one or the other vehicle failed to yield, possibly running its red light and causing the wreck. Time and a more careful investigation will hopefully reveal which driver was responsible. Hopefully the traffic lights have cameras, or perhaps a nearby business has one. More and more often, semi trucks themselves have dashcams equipped--though if the truck driver is responsible for the crash the company that owns the truck will be highly reluctant to hand over the footage.

Another thing police should look into while they're involved is the possibility that intoxication played a role in the crash. I don't mean to speculate about that too much, but any time someone runs a red light at 3:00 a.m. it seems distinctly possible that they did so due to impaired judgement from drugs or alcohol in their system. If it's determined that one driver or the other was drunk at the time of the crash, that could have further legal implications beyond the crash itself.

What do I mean by that? In Texas, a licensed alcohol vendor that over-serves an obviously intoxicated patron may be considered liable for any harm that customer causes or suffers while intoxicated. The area of the law that seeks to hold negligent bars and stores responsible for that over-service is called dram shop law.

Some may think it's wrong to put any responsibility on a bar for a person's drunk driving, but consider this: If alcohol is found to be the reason that a crash occurred, then it stands to reason that whatever establishment supplied it should be held accountable. Is the one holding the bag the only one considered responsible for a bank robbery, or do police also seek out the getaway driver?

Also keep in mind that dram shop law only seeks accountability for alcohol providers who willingly and knowingly break the law by providing further drinks when it's clear, either from physical signs or the length of a customer's bar tab, that he shouldn't be provided any more alcohol.

As I said before, I don't want to stray too far into speculation. Police will determine the most likely reasons for the crash and I'm sure they will investigate each one carefully. I'm only saying that if alcohol is found to have played a major part then everyone involved in creating the circumstances for a fatal DUI should be held responsible for their roles.

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