Cynthia Ann McBay, 1 Injured in Alleged Drunk Driving Accident in Bowie County, TX
Bowie County, TX -- November 27, 2020, Cynthia Ann McBay and another driver were injured after an accident involing a possibly drunk driver.
Authorities with the Texas DPS reported that the crash happened at around 7:17 p.m. approaching the intersection of Us 82 and County Road 3111.
Initial reports from state troopers indicated that 61-year-old Cynthia Ann McBay was in a Toyota Corolla traveling eastbound along US 82. A Toyota 4Runner traveling the same direction reportedly failed to control speed and hit McBay's vehicle. The 4Runner veered off and then back onto the road before reportedly driving away from the scene.
McBay went to a hospital with incapacitating injuries. The driver of the 4Runner reportedly abandoned the SUV, then fled on foot into the woods. Family members and vehicle information reportedly identified the suspect, and police say they found alcohol in the vehicle.
They located the suspect the following day. That person now faces charges for failure to stop and render aid, open container, not wearing a seatbelt, and driving while license invalid.
Commentary Cynthia Ann McBay Alleged Drunk Driving Accident in Bowie County
If what police say here is true, then evidence seems to suggest the driver responsible for these events may have been under the influence of alcohol. That's an incredibly important detail to follow up on. Police didn't file DWI charges, it seems, likely due to the time between the crash and authorities finding that person. However, that doesn't mean there aren't other legal avenues to prove the driver was under the influence of alcohol.
For example, civil law has a unique avenue called Dram Shop Law. Basically, Dram Shop Law says that an alcohol provider who over-serves an obviously intoxicated person can be liable for damages resulting from that intoxication. That means things like receipts, security footage, witness testimony, and other details possibly insufficient in a criminal court could prove in civil court that the driver was intoxicated. That would also have the added effect of allowing those hurt in the accident to hold the negligent alcohol provider if they contributed to the crash.
Right now, there's not enough information to say if that happened here, but it's more than worth more thorough consideration from independent investigators.