• April 06, 2022

Aaron Fleming Injured in Car Accident on St. Augustine Drive in Dallas, TX

UPDATE (April 28, 2022): The injured victim in this accident has been identified as 50-year-old Aaron Fleming.

Dallas, TX -- March 17, 2022, a 50-year-old Overton man was seriously injured in a crash with a suspected drunk driver on St. Augustine Drive in Dallas.

Authorities say the incident happened around 9:10 p.m. on South St. Augustine at Fireside Drive. Preliminary investigation suggests a Cadillac Escalade was headed south on St. Augustine in the left lane as the victim was driving a Toyota sedan north in the same area. The Toyota driver started to make a left turn onto Fireside, entering the path of the allegedly-speeding Cadillac. The two crashed in the southbound lane.

After the impact the Cadillac swerved off the roadway and crashed into a wooden utility pole, the spun out and rolled onto its roof. The Toyota spun away southward from the impact site before rolling up the east curb and coming to rest.

The Overton man suffered serious injuries in the crash. The Cadillac driver, later identified as Jose Salas Jr., reportedly received minor injuries. Police suspected he was under the influence of alcohol and collected blood samples for testing.

No further information is available at this time.

Commentary on Aaron Fleming Accident on St. Augustine Drive in Dallas

UPDATE (April 28, 2022): Blood test results showed the suspect in this crash had a BAC of .088, just over the legal limit, at the time of the crash.

As I mentioned previously, victims of DWI crashes are sometimes able to hold irresponsible bars or other alcohol vendors accountable for the damage their drunk customers do under dram shop law. One of the conditions of a dram shop claim is that the bar must have sold or served drinks to the customer when he was obviously intoxicated; it's hard to say whether a man just a hair past the legal limit would have shown signs of impairment that everyday folks could pick up on, but bar staff are meant to receive training in how to perceive those signs more easily. If they could tell, either by physical symptoms or just the length of the customer's tab, that he was intoxicated and sold him more anyway, then they may be responsible for the injuries he caused in that wreck.

Of course it's unlikely any of the staff would cop to knowing their customer was drunk, and no case relies on their confession. Instead, investigators round up receipts, witness statements, security camera footage, and any other sources of information they can find to determine whether the bar should have cut the customer off--and if so, why it didn't.

Not every DWI crash involves a dram violation beforehand, but it's an important issue to look into any time alcohol consumption may be the cause of someone's injuries. Will police look into the possibility that a bar broke the law, or would the victim be better off having independent investigators get involved?

Aaron Fleming Injured in Car Accident on St. Augustine Drive in Dallas, TX

ORIGINAL: If blood tests confirm the suspect was intoxicated as police believe, he may face some legal consequences for the damage done. That's not really for me to remark upon, though, as it's a criminal matter and he'll have his day in court to deal with the state.

Rather than gossip about that I consider it more relevant to talk about what can be done for the crash victim. If intoxication really played a significant part in what happened, then it's important that he's aware of Texas dram shop law.

Dram shop law essentially says that a licensed alcohol provider who over-serves an obviously intoxicated person may be liable for injuries they cause while under the influence. That means bars, restaurants, liquor stores, and other establishments can be held legally accountable when they keep selling drinks to customers who then get in accidents like this one. Not only does dram shop law help victims and families get back on their feet after such harmful experiences, it's also a way to punish negligent alcohol providers and keep them from putting communities in further danger.

Despite the importance of dram shop law, though, police rarely do much about those violations. Why? Because their priorities generally lie elsewhere and they rarely have the time or resources to hunt down negligent businesses. It's often better to have independent investigators look into that rather than waiting for police to take action.

For the sake of those affected by this crash, the sooner someone looks into everything that led to it the sooner there can be some useful answers. Any further steps would largely depend on what those answers turn out to be.

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