• December 10, 2021

Ronald Lewis Killed, Two Injured in Car Accident at 50th St and Ave A in Lubbock, TX

UPDATE (December 21, 2021): Authorities have identified the man who died in this accident as 40-year-old Ronald Lewis. Riding in Lewis's Toyota Camry was 38-year-old passenger Kathy Thompson, who was transported to a local hospital for treatment of serious injuries.

The other driver, Juan Castillo, received minor injuries in the collision.

Lubbock, TX -- December 9, 2021, one person was killed and two others were injured in a traffic collision at a Lubbock intersection.

Authorities say the incident happened shortly before 7:45 p.m. at the crossing of 50th Street and Avenue A. Preliminary investigation suggests a Toyota Camry was traveling west on 50th when ahead the driver of a Cadillac SRX attempted to turn onto Avenue A and entered the Toyota's path. The two vehicles collided at the intersection and one then crashed into a nearby utility pole.

One person was killed in the collision. Another suffered serious injuries, while a third person received minor injuries.

The investigation continues at this time. No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Car Accident at 50th and Ave A in Lubbock

UPDATE (April 20, 2022): Later reports about this incident suggest that the man who died had a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of .217 at the time of the wreck. I don't mention it to tarnish his name or to begin a lecture about drunk driving, but knowing that alcohol was a factor may change how the accident's aftermath should be addressed.

In Texas and many other states alcohol-related crashes sometimes involve holding the businesses that serve it responsible for the damage their customers cause or suffer while drunk. Under dram shop law a licensed alcohol vendor like a bar or a restaurant is prohibited by law from selling or serving drinks to an obviously intoxicated customer. If it does so illegally it should be held accountable for the damage that reckless over-service caused.

Unfortunately, dram violations receive little attention from police. That's why it's often best for victims and families to seek help from independent investigators who know what proof to look for and how to get it. With receipts, witness statements, video footage, and other evidence in hand, many people hurt by negligent over-service have held businesses accountable for endangering them and the public at large.

Ronald Lewis Killed; Kathy Thompson, Juan Castillo Injured in Car Accident at 50th St and Ave A in Lubbock, TX

It's generally unwise to guess about how or why a crash occurred, let alone try to say who or what's to blame. I can appreciate the urge to try and connect the dots as soon as possible, but the only way to do that is with clear facts, not theories. Just to gain a better understanding of the events in Lubbock investigators must look into many factors: Possible driver-related issues like distraction or speeding, yes, but also problems with the vehicles themselves, road conditions and design, visibility, lighting and sightlines, inclement weather, any other traffic in the area, and many other elements that could have influenced or even caused the crash. Without considering all these variables no one can be certain the whole truth is found.

As investigators continue to learn more about what happened, making any assumptions is both unwise and unjust. I've seen too many cases where people rushed to prematurely blame one party or the other after reading a vague news release, only for details to come to light that completely changed the context of the wreck. The same thing could happen here, though police also might not explain things as thoroughly as one would hope. After a serious accident I always suggest an independent investigation to make sure the whole truth is found. Whatever is discovered, those affected deserve to know that every effort was made to bring them all the available answers. Any further steps would depend largely on what those answers turn out to be.

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