• January 25, 2022

Rodney Valle Killed in Single-Vehicle Accident on TX-136 in Potter County

Potter County, TX -- January 22, 2022, 53-year-old Rodney Valle was injured in a rollover crash on State Highway 136 in Potter County.

Authorities say the incident happened around 1:55 a.m. on northbound TX-136 near mile marker 114, roughly nine miles north of Amarillo. Preliminary investigation suggests Valle was traveling north on the highway in a Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck when he reportedly lost control. The truck left the road and he over-corrected, causing the truck to enter a side-skid through the traffic lanes. It entered a ditch on the opposite side of the road and overturned.

Valle, reportedly not wearing a seat belt, was ejected and suffered fatal injuries.

Investigators believe the victim was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash.

No further information is available at this time.

Commentary on Rodney Valle Accident on TX-136 in Potter County

Given the circumstances of this crash it seems reasonable that impairment is thought to be a factor. Some people may wonder if that's really an important detail since the suspect's tragic passing means he's beyond any legal consequences, but Texas and many other states view alcohol-related wrecks differently. To that end, if alcohol's use is confirmed then investigators should find out where it came from.

Rodney Valle Killed in Single-Vehicle Accident on TX-136 in Potter County

Why look into the source of the drinks? Because if the driver was sold or served alcohol despite already being past his limits, it could mean this accident has further implications under dram shop law. That law prohibits any alcohol-selling vendor (bars, clubs, restaurants, stores, etc) from providing further drinks to an obviously intoxicated customer. If they continue serving such customers and then those people go on to cause or suffer injuries, the business may then be obligated to help them and their families with the often-difficult process of recovery. Not every DWI crash involves a dram shop violation, but it's important to find out for sure after DWI crashes in case responsibility extends beyond the driver.

I want to stress once more that alcohol is only a theory at this point. I'm not making any accusations or claiming to know more than what reports say. I bring up dram shop law because I know from years of experience that it could have proven helpful to many people who never even knew it existed. It grants victims and their loved ones the right to seek assistance with their recovery and also holds reckless businesses accountable for over-service, yet despite that police rarely look into dram violations. Will they do so here, or is this yet another situation where the victim's loved ones would be better served by independent investigations?

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