Teen Driver Injured in Single-Vehicle Accident on Loop 323 in Smith County, TX
Smith County, TX -- March 6, 2022, a 17-year-old driver was seriously injured in a single-vehicle accident on Loop 323 in Smith County.
Authorities say the incident happened around 2:55 a.m. on Loop 323 near Lavender Road. Preliminary investigation suggests a Ford F-150 pickup truck was traveling east on the Loop in the inside lane. Witnesses later told investigators the vehicle seemed to be going at speeds over 100 miles an hour.
The driver reportedly lost control in a curve due to the high speeds and passed part way into the median. He over-corrected to the right and then quickly back to the left, causing the truck to veer out of control. It re-entered the median and overturned, rolling one or more times before coming to rest upright.
The truck's teen driver suffered serious injuries in the crash. According to investigators he had been drinking alcohol prior to the crash but was not intoxicated.
No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Single-Vehicle Accident on Loop 323 in Smith County
It's a serious concern that someone might have knowingly and willingly provided alcohol to an underage person and a car accident followed. The provider could be an adult they know or--far more troubling--a local business that sold it to them.
What makes the latter situation unique is that such a business might be held legally accountable both for serving alcohol to a minor and for its role in the driver's injuries. Texas dram shop law says that if a licensed alcohol vendor sells or serves drinks to an obviously intoxicated customer, and that customer then hurts himself or someone else, the alcohol provider may be liable for the part it played in those injuries.
If nothing else, there are people affected by this accident who deserve the full story of how it happened. If that story ultimately includes a local business looking the other way for a young adults purchasing alcohol then it must be confronted and held accountable or it may not change its ways.