One Injured in Three-Vehicle Accident on FM 2100 in Harris County, TX
Harris County, TX -- April 10, 2022, a 37-year-old man was seriously injured in a crash with an alleged DWI driver on Farm to Market Road 2100 in Harris County.
Authorities say the incident happened around 8:30 p.m. on FM 2100 near Foley Road. Preliminary reports suggest a Nissan Altima was driving north on the roadway ahead of a Chevrolet C2500 pickup truck, which in turn was ahead of an Audi A5. The Audi driver, 24-year-old James Hutchinson, allegedly failed to control the car's speed and crashed into the back of the Chevy, which pushed it into the Nissan ahead of it.
The Chevy driver suffered serious injuries in the crash. A passenger in the pickup received possible injuries. Hutchinson had minor injuries. No other injuries were reported.
Investigators suspected Hutchinson was intoxicated; he reportedly admitted to having 3 alcoholic drinks before the accident. Blood tests later revealed he had a BAC of .17, over twice the legal limit, at the time.
No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Three-Vehicle Accident on FM 2100 in Harris County
Blood tests seem to have confirmed that the suspect was intoxicated by alcohol when he rear-ended the victim. Some may think that's largely unimportant aside from ensuring the right charges follow, but it may have greater implications. For examples, another party--one often overlooked in these accidents--may also be responsible for the damage done.
When determining liability for alcohol-related crashes, Texas and many other states look beyond DWI drivers to the businesses that sold or served them drinks. If investigations show that a licensed alcohol vendor over-served the Harris County suspect prior to the accident that injured him and the other victims, that business may be liable for their damages under dram shop law.
Dram shop is a valuable but lesser-known tool that helps injured victims recover after serious accidents like this one. Will the authorities look into the possibility of a dram shop violation here as they should, or is this another instance where an independent investigation would be more helpful to get the victims the help they need and deserve?