• January 31, 2022

Charles Polk Killed in Single-Vehicle Accident in San Augustine County, TX

San Augustine County, TX -- November 23, 2021, Charles Polk was killed after an accident where Polk's vehicle crashed off the side of the road.

Investigators said they responded to the scene at around 5:00 p.m. along FM 2213 in the area of County Road 170.

Officials reported that 74-year-old Charles Polk was in a Lincoln Town Car traveling along FM 2213. After rounding a curve, the vehicle reportedly went off the side of the road, crossed over CR-170, then hit a sign. The vehicle then crashed into an embankment.

Polk sustained fatal injuries as a result of the crash. Police said that Polk had a .167 BAC following the crash. No further information about the crash is available at this time.

Commentary on Charles Polk Single-Vehicle Accident in San Augustine County

These are obviously serious details, and I just want to be clear that talking about the allegations that alcohol contributed to the crash is not a way to tarnish someone's name or to upset anyone. On the contrary, I find that after crashes like this, when authorities claim that the driver had alcohol in their system, their immediate reaction is to simply move on. They just see the victim as a reckless driver who caused a serious accident. Even if that's technically true, it's still someone's loved one that was involved, and understanding what Texas law actually says about crashes like this may show people that alleged drunk drivers are not as solely to blame as they may think.

Charles Polk Single-Vehicle Accident San Augustine County, TX

Something that happens a lot across the state is people go out to bars or other similar establishments, drink too much, then get into serious accidents. Over the years, our communities recognized that a significant part of all this was businesses continuing to sell alcohol to people who were already obviously intoxicated. As such, our legislature evnetually recognized this danger by writing dram shop law that said those establishments can be liable for the injuries caused by their negligent over-service. Whether that's a bar, a restaurant, a liquor store, or even a gas station, they, too, need to handle alcohol responsibly.

Again, I can't say anything like that happened here, and I certainly would not encourage anyone to jump to conclusions. But I can't begin to tell you how many families came to me weeks or months after a deadly crash like this only for our investigations to show police didn't even bother seeing if their loved one had been illegally over-served. If there's some negligent business out there putting the community in danger, shouldn't they be brought to answer for the harm they caused?

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