• April 22, 2022

Tyler Heard, One Other Injured in Crossover Accident on FM 148 in Kaufman County, TX

Kaufman County, TX -- April 2, 2022, 27-year-old Tyler Heard and another person were seriously injured in a collision on Farm to Market Road 148 in Kaufman County.

Authorities say the incident happened around 12:30 a.m. on FM 148 near mile marker 306. Preliminary investigation suggests Heard was driving a Ford F-150 east on the roadway when he lost control for unknown reasons and crossed over the center line into westbound traffic. Nearby, a GMC ambulance traveling west on the roadway tried to evade the oncoming pickup but was unsuccessful. The two collided head-on in the middle of the roadway.

Tyler Heard and the ambulance driver both sustained serious injuries in the crash. A second person in the ambulance received minor injuries.

Witnesses reportedly told investigators they believed Heard was intoxicated at the time of the crash. Blood samples were collected for testing.

No further information is available at this time.

Commentary on Tyler Heard Accident on FM 148 in Kaufman County

Police think the crossover driver in this crash was intoxicated. They collected blood samples to find out for sure, but unless those results come back positive it's important not to automatically assume that must be the case. It's easy for some to take preliminary reports at face value or dwell too much on officers' theories, but a full and proper investigation will look into other possibilities while the tests are run. A crash like this could have been caused by lots of other things--momentary distraction or inattention, slick or hazardous roads, other vehicles, or a tire blowout just to name a few. I'm not saying any of those have to be involved, just that it's important not to get tunnel vision about impairment just because it was suggested.

For the sake of argument, maybe tests will show the driver was intoxicated. That still doesn't mean everything is wrapped up, since it's best to look at ways to help injured victims--including the alleged DWI drivers--after crashes like this. One way to do that is through Texas dram shop law.

Tyler Heard, One Other Injured in Crossover Accident on FM 148 in Kaufman County, TX

In a nutshell, dram shop law prohibits licensed alcohol vendors like bars, restaurants, and various stores from selling or serving drinks to obviously intoxicated customers. If a business ignores the signs that their customer has had enough and keeps serving him then it does so in violation of dram shop law. When that happens the business may be legally responsible for any damage the customer causes or suffers while under the influence. Dram shop law is one of the best avenues available to injured victims to be sure not only that they get much-needed help, but also that a bar is made to change its reckless ways.

With all that said, I repeat that intoxication is still just a theory right now. Blood tests will help clear up whether that theory is a fact here, but in the meantime it's important to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. If the facts point to impairment then there may be further considerations, but right now it's best to focus on how else the victims can be helped in a difficult time.

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