Angie Apodaca, Teen Injured in Head-On Crash on I-27 in Lubbock, TX
Lubbock, TX -- March 27, 2022, 23-year-old Angie Apodaca and a 16-year-old girl were seriously injured in a car accident on Interstate 27 in Lubbock.
Authorities say the incident happened around 2:45 a.m. on the 1300 block of I-27 near 13th Street. Preliminary investigation suggests a Ford sedan was traveling south, against traffic, in the far right northbound lane of the interstate. Apodaca was driving a Ford Mustang north in the same lane and the two vehicles collided head-on.
Both Apodaca and the teen girl suffered serious injuries and were transported to a local hospital.
Police reported finding an empty liquor bottle in the teen's vehicle. She was also said to be wearing a wristband from a local bar.
No further information is available at this time.
Commentary on Angie Apodaca and Teen Accident on I-27 in Lubbock
I hope other readers were as troubled as I was to see that the wrong-way driver in this crash, a teenager significantly younger than 21, not only had procured a liquor bottle somewhere but also gained access to a local bar at some point. It's hard to say whether the wristband marked her as a minor not to serve or an adult that could drink, but it seems either way that business's model may be flawed.
Considering the grievous harm done to both victims of this crash, it seems as though one or more local businesses may have some answering to do. Clearly it's illegal to sell or serve any quantity of alcohol directly to a minor under the age of 21, but any business that helped the young driver get intoxicated also violated Texas dram shop law and may be liable for the damage she caused and suffered in that crash.
People aren't always aware of dram shop law, but in a nutshell it says that a licensed alcohol vendor (a bar, nightclub, restaurant, store, etc) that sells alcohol to an obviously intoxicated customer may have some legal responsibility for any injuries that over-intoxicated customer causes or receives while under the influence.
With all that said, it's important to follow up and say not every DWI accident really involves a dram shop violation. For instance, there's no telling right now where the teen got that liquor bottle, so if she took it from home that's not something a business can be held accountable for.
The presence of a bar's wristband does change things somewhat. It's extremely important to find out whether she was served any amount of alcohol at that business or was simply allowed to be there without service. If they so much as poured her a beer they already broke the law, but considering she was traveling the wrong way on a limited-access highway it seems likely she was provided more than that (depending on how much the liquor bottle's contents contributed).
I'm spilling a lot of words out here just to say something everybody already knows: Drunk driving is bad, and drunk driving kids even worse. The idea that somebody helped that teenager not only get intoxicated, but also so drunk that she couldn't tell which way to go on the road, is something that urgently needs investigation. Any business willing to contribute that needs a serious kick in the pants to get it to straighten out, and another kick to make it help the victims of its reckless over-service.