Woman Struck by Multiple Vehicles, Dies on North Freeway in Harris County, TX
Harris County, TX -- April 13, 2022, a pedestrian was struck by multiple vehicles and died on the North Freeway in Harris County.
Authorities say the incidents happened shortly before 8:45 p.m. on the 20999 block of the North Freeway near Fallbrook Drive and North Sam Houston Parkway. Preliminary investigation suggests only that a woman was on foot in the area, "walking in and out of traffic" according to a witness, when she was struck several times by multiple vehicles and died at the scene. Later reports indicate the first driver to hit her was the only one who remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators. Police determined that driver showed no signs of intoxication.
The witness also told police the woman appeared to be leaving a nearby restaurant prior to walking onto the freeway.
No further information is available at this time.
Commentary on Auto-Pedestrian Accident on North Fwy in Harris County
One concern that may come to mind when reading about this incident is that impairment may have been a factor. That certainly doesn't have to be the case just because someone walked "in and out of traffic" at night on a highway, but I suspect that part of the investigations will involve looking for signs that alcohol played a role. Indeed, police mentioned looking into whatever restaurant the victim allegedly left just prior to the accidents to learn how she spent her time there. That's an important possibility to consider because that business may be legally responsible for the part it played in the victim's passing under Texas dram shop law.
In a nutshell, dram shop law says that licensed alcohol providers are forbidden from selling or serving drinks to obviously intoxicated customers. Some regularly break those rules, though, and when their priorities get skewed like that people get hurt. In those situations the victims and their loved ones may hold the business responsible for its part in the damage done.
I worked on a case not long ago where a pedestrian was fatally hit by a vehicle on a freeway's on-ramp. His family wanted to know how he got there, so we investigated further. Ultimately we found the victim hung out at a local bowling alley that night, where he was heavily over-served at its bar. He had the presence of mind not to drive home after leaving, but got disoriented while walking and entered the ramp where tragedy followed moments later. Because we learned the bowling alley illegally over-served that man, we were able to hold it legally accountable for his death under dram shop law and the courts forced it to make amends to his family.
Right now it's unclear whether alcohol was even a factor in the tragic events on the North Freeway, let alone whether a business provided it in excess to the victim. I'm not making unfounded accusations here. My point is that many accidents involve unique or less-obvious elements people don't even realize. Even the authorities sometimes overlook important issues that victims and their families should know about. Making sure investigations are thorough enough to cover these possibilities is crucial, even if it's just to rule them out. Will police give this incident that kind of care and attention?