Tyler Chester Killed, Wilma Lane Injured in Car Accident on TX-19 in Hopkins County
Hopkins County, TX -- March 5, 2022, 27-year-old Tyler Chester was killed and 68-year-old Wilma Lane was injured in a crash on State Highway 19 in Hopkins County.
Authorities say the incident happened around 10:00 p.m. on TX-19 near mile marker 246. Preliminary investigation suggests Chester was driving a Toyota Camry north on the highway in the southbound lane, against traffic. Nearby, Lane was traveling south in a Chevy Malibu in the same lane. A car ahead of the Malibu veered out of the path of the oncoming Camry and the two vehicles then collided head-on in the southbound lane.
Chester suffered fatal injuries in the collision. Wilma Lane received serious injuries.
Investigators later determined Chester had a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of .229 at the time of the crash.
No further information is available at this time.
Commentary on Tyler Chester, Wilma Lane Accident on TX-19 in Hopkins County
Tests seem to have confirmed that the wrong-way driver in this accident was under the influence of alcohol at the time. Some may think there's little else to say about that because the driver's tragic passing means he's beyond the reach of the law, but they may not be aware that another party--one that too often gets away with its role in alcohol-related accidents--should be held accountable as well for the damage done.
Under Texas dram shop law an alcohol provider that sells or serves drinks to an obviously intoxicated customer does so illegally. When that happens and the customer goes on to cause or suffer injuries while under the influence, dram shop law may hold that negligent business (a bar, restaurant, club, store, etc) responsible for the injuries sustained by the victims.
Dram shop law is an important tool when helping victims of DWI crashes seek both help with their recovery and accountability from the parties that harmed them. Despite the importance of finding dram violations and stopping them, though, law enforcement rarely takes an active role in doing so. If such an issue is suspected--and they happen far more often than people might believe--victims and families are often best served by independent investigations rather than waiting on police to take action. With the evidence of over-service that an independent investigator uncovers, many folks are able to hold a law-breaking business responsible for its recklessness and obtain badly-needed help getting their lives back in order.