• June 01, 2021

Teen Killed; Ashley Worrell, Jackson Bradley Injured in Crash on Slide Road in Lubbock, TX

UPDATE (June 16, 2022): Recent reports incident driver Joshua Torres was indicted on an Intoxication Manslaughter charge related to this accident on Tuesday, June 14.

Lubbock, TX -- May 28, 2021, a teenager was killed and Jackson Bradley (17) and Ashley Worrell (38) were injured in a collision on Slide Road in Lubbock.

Authorities say the incident happened around 7:40 p.m. at the intersection of Slide and 19th Street. Preliminary investigation suggests that 21-year-old Joshua Torres was traveling south on Slide when he ran a red light at 19th and his Chrysler 300 struck a Suzuki XL7 driven by Worrell, which was turning onto westbound 19th from northbound Slide.

Worrell and the Suzuki's two passengers were transported to University Medical Center, where the 14-year-old boy later died. Bradley and Worrell were initially believed to have suffered moderate injuries in the collision but their situation degraded and they were listed in serious condition at the hospital.

Torres was treated for minor injuries at Covenant Medical Center before he was arrested on a charge of Intoxication Manslaughter.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Ashley Worrell, Jackson Bradley Accident on Slide Rd in Lubbock

Obviously the intoxication charges that followed this tragic accident are hugely concerning. However, the suspect's fate within the criminal justice system is not for me to speculate about, and I don't write this blog to cast judgment on those accused of making poor choices. My focus is primarily on helping the victims of these incidents, which is why I want to talk about an area of the law that is often of value to those injured in crashes like the one in Lubbock. Not everyone is aware that after many alcohol-related wrecks, the drivers aren't the only ones who should be held accountable.

Texas dram shop law says that licensed alcohol vendors (bars, clubs, restaurants, stores, etc) have a legal duty not to sell or serve alcohol to obviously intoxicated customers. That means if an employee can tell one way or another that their customer is past their limit, then serves them more drinks anyway, that employee and by extension the business they work for is likely breaking the law.

Teen Killed; Ashley Worrell, Jackson Bradley Injured in Crash on Slide Road in Lubbock, TX

One of the costs of doing business as an alcohol vendor is an agreement not to endanger the public with over-service. Doing so puts lives at risk--not just that of the customer, but also the public at large who will have to deal with that person's intoxication. Even knowing that, many businesses willingly sell drinks to anyone who wants them. When someone gets hurt due to that recklessness, dram shop law allows them and their loved ones to hold those businesses accountable for the part they played.

I can't say if a dram shop violation happened here based on preliminary news reports. I simply find that many who encounter these accidents--authorities included--are too quick to close the book on them, wholly blaming the alleged drunk driver without looking beyond him. Our laws say these businesses aren't allowed to put the community in danger, and they must face consequences when their actions get people hurt. So are authorities even considering that, or is this another situation where the injured victims and their loved ones would be better served by independent investigations?

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