Tyson Clemmons Killed in Car Accident on TX-73 in Port Arthur
Port Arthur, TX -- April 3, 2022, 19-year-old Tyson Clemmons was injured in a crash with an alleged DWI driver on State Highway 73 in Jefferson County.
Authorities say the incident happened around 9:20 p.m. on TX-73 near 9th Avenue. Preliminary investigation suggests 39-year-old Thomas Kent was driving a Chevy Silverado pickup west on the roadway as Clemmons was driving a Dodge Charger east in the same area.
According to reports, Kent lost control of his car and veered through the grassy median, entering eastbound traffic and crashing into the Charger. After the impact the Silverado flipped over and rolled down the south embankment off the road, coming to rest at the bottom.
Tyson Clemmons suffered fatal injuries in the accident. Kent received possible injuries and was transported to an area hospital for treatment.
Police suspected Kent of being intoxicated at the time of the crash and drew blood samples for testing.
No further information is available at this time.
Commentary on Tyson Clemmons Accident on TX-73 in Port Arthur
Most folks understand what a DWI charge may mean for the at-fault driver, but there could be further-reaching consequences beyond those directed at him.
For a start, investigators must distinguish whether this crash happened due to drugs or alcohol. They cited both as possible factors in their report, but it's unclear whether they found evidence to support that or just weren't sure which intoxicant was involved. Having seen many such reports, I suspect the latter; if so, that will hopefully be clarified by blood tests.
If alcohol is found to be the sole or primary intoxicant, investigators then need to look into where it came from. That's an important detail to learn due to dram shop law, which says an alcohol vendor can be liable for an accident if they over-served an obviously intoxicated customer who went on to harm herself or someone else while drunk. But why would anyone want to hold the bar responsible?
First and foremost, it presents an opportunity for victim's loved ones to get some much-needed help after their terrible loss. Just as importantly, though, it provides a way to ensure a law-breaking business faces consequences and potentially makes a community safer. Few people can reasonably argue against preventing a business in their neighborhood from endangering it.
Right now there are still plenty of answers to seek about this crash, including how much of a role alcohol played (if any). Obviously working that out would come before any further investigation about possible dram shop violations, but it's an important consideration any time alcohol use and injuries may be tied together. Dram shop law is instrumental in seeking out negligent alcohol providers and giving them a strong incentive to clean up their act. If doing so can also benefit a victim's family in a difficult time, surely that's worth some attention.