Aubrey Clifton Injured in Single-Vehicle Accident on FM 130 in Cass County, TX
Cass County, TX -- September 25, 2021, 20-year-old Aubrey Nicole Clifton was injured in a single-vehicle accident on Farm to Market Road 130 in Cass County.
Authorities say the incident happened around 9:40 p.m. on FM 130 near County Road 2928. Preliminary investigation suggests Clifton was driving a Toyota 4Runner northeast on the roadway, reportedly traveling at an unsafe speed and without headlights on. The vehicle entered a curve in the road but left the travel lane to the right while negotiating it. Clifton over-corrected to the left and the SUV traveled across the roadway and exited on its west side. It ran up a low embankment and hit a tree, then overturned. The vehicle came to rest on its roof nearby.
Clifton suffered serious injuries in the crash. Investigators say she had been drinking alcohol prior to the wreck and collected blood samples for testing.
No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Aubrey Clifton Accident on FM 130 in Cass 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 consequences the victim may face, but also whether there are further issues 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 helps many who are 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 victims' injuries.
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. However, it's hard to say if police will follow the trail of the victim's alleged alcohol use. If there's any suspicion that a business's negligence was at the root of this crash, finding evidence of that may need an independent investigator's practiced eye.