Joel Birden Killed in Head-on Car Accident on East Martin in Porter, TX
UPDATE (February 2, 2022): The wrong-way driver killed in this accident has been identified as 34-year-old Joel Birden.
Porter, TX -- December 31, 2021, one person was killed as the result of an accident where a car and a pickup collided head-on along East Martin Drive.
Investigators reported that the crash took place at around 9:20 p.m. along East Martin Drive just off Wayne Road.
According to authorities, an Acura car was reportedly driving along Martin at high speeds without headlights. The car then crashed head-on into a pickup truck.
As a result of the crash, a 34-year-old man in the car succumbed to fatal injuries. It's unclear if anyone else was hurt. The exact factors surrounding the crash are still under investigation.
Commentary on Joel Birden Accident on East Martin in Porter
While no one can say for sure what happened here, I see a lot of comments speculating that alcohol was a factor. To be a bit blunt, if it's true the driver drove the wrong way with their headlights off, alcohol would certainly explain things. New Year's also just happens to be just about the worst holiday for drunk driving, making it even more likely that it was a factor in any given accident. If that's what happened here, investigators need to make sure they investigate if a local establishment over-served the victim.
Countless establishments over New Year's take the opportunity to break the law, recklessly over-serve people, and hope they get away with putting their customers and their community in danger. Dram shop law says they can be liable for contributing to crashes resulting from their over-service, which is why this driver's loved ones would want to know the full context surrounding what went wrong here.
That said, if alcohol wasn't a factor here, that's why experienced investigators are such a crucial ally. They look into obvious factors, of course, but they also make sure nothing unusual like mechanical defects, medical emergencies, or other less likely factors slip through the cracks. The question now is if the proper steps are being taken to give this awful even the attention it deserves.