Theodore Olewuezi Opara, Thomas Beldin Storie Jr. Injured in Alleged DWI Accident in Bell County, TX
Bell County, TX -- November 27, 2020, Theodore Olewuezi Opara and Thomas Beldin Storie Jr. were injured after an alleged drunk driving accident.
Investigators with the Texas DPS responded to the crash scene at around 2:30 p.m. It happened near the intersection of FM 439 and FM 3219.
According to reports, 29-year-old Theodore Olewuezi Opara was in a westbound Kia Optima while 65-year-old Thomas Beldin Storie Jr. was in an eastbound Subaru Forester. Police said that Storie's vehicle crossed the center line, over-corrected, then veered back into the westbound lane where it collided with Opara's vehicle.
Both Opara and Storie sustained incapacitating injuries in the crash. Authorities allege that Storie was under the influence of alcohol and charged him with DWI. At this time, additional details are unavailable.
Commentary Theodore Olewuezi Opara, Thomas Beldin Storie Jr. Alleged DWI Accident in Bell County
If these allegations are true, then police have clearly taken steps to see an allegedly drunk driver has their day to answers for their actions. It's not really my place to comment on that sort of thing. What a lot of people don't realize, however, is there is often more to the story. In fact, there could be an outside party who can also be held responsible for the victims' injuries.
There is a unique area of Texas law called Dram Shop Law. Basically, the law says that an alcohol provider who over-serves an obviously intoxicated person can be liable for damages resulting from that intoxication. This could be anything from a bar to a restaurant to a liquor store to a grocery store. If the business breaks the law and over-serves someone, they're putting the public at risk. Any resulting injuries falls on their shoulders, according to the law.
Despite how often Dram Shop Law applies to serious accidents (I've litigated hundreds of Dram Shop cases), the authorities rarely consider these factors. They tend to put all of their focus on the drivers. That's why it's so important for victims and families affected by accidents like these to ensure independent investigators take a thorough look into the events surrounding their accident to see if any local businesses need to take responsibility for their role in the crash.