Timothy Peden Injured in Single-Vehicle Crash on FM 1255 in Van Zandt County, TX
Van Zandt County, TX -- August 22, 2021, 20-year-old Timothy Louis Peden was seriously injured in a single-vehicle accident along Farm to Market Road 1255 in Van Zandt County.
Authorities say the incident happened around 3:30 a.m. on FM 1255 near FM 773. Preliminary investigation suggests Peden was driving a Dodge Ram 1500 pickup truck north on the roadway when he reportedly failed to maintain a single lane. The truck drifted off the right side of the road and Peden overcorrected, causing the truck to enter a side skid and overturn on the roadway. It barrel-rolled one or more times before coming to rest upside-down on the west side of the road.
Peden received serious injuries in the crash. He admitted to investigators that they had consumed six Keystone beers before crashing. Police request a subpoena of the hospital's treatment records to determine Peden's blood-alcohol concentration (BAC).
No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Timothy Peden Accident on FM 1255 in Van Zandt County
If blood tests confirm intoxication was a main factor in this crash, that may change how it's handled a bit--not just in terms of what criminal consequences the victim may face, but also whether it has further elements to investigate. Texas takes alcohol-related crashes very seriously, to the point of also holding the businesses that sell it responsible when they over-serve their customers. Those violations are dealt with by dram shop law.
People aren't always aware of this area of the law even though it could have helped many who were hurt in similar situations. In a nutshell, dram shop law prohibits licensed alcohol vendors (bars, restaurants, liquor and convenience stores, etc) from selling or serving alcohol to obviously intoxicated customers. If they do so illegally and their customers go on to cause or suffer harm while under the influence, that business may then be considered liable for the injuries they deal out--even when the people injured are the drunk drivers themselves.
Too many bars escape any liability because people don't know that DWI drivers aren't the only ones to hold responsible after a crash like this. Reckless over-service from alcohol providers creates dangerously-drunk drivers who pose a risk to themselves and others. Dram shop law is how those businesses are punished for disregarding the law. Furthermore, it provides injured victims a way to confront those negligent bars and hold them responsible, securing both accountability and much-needed help at the same time.
So is that a factor here? Only time and further investigation could say for sure. With a suspect already in custody, however, police may not be interested in following the trail of his alcohol. If there is any suspicion that a bar's negligence was at the root of this crash, finding evidence of that may need an independent investigator's practiced eye.