Tony Long Sr. Killed in Longview, TX Motorcycle Accident
UPDATE (May 18, 2022): Sources have identified the motorcyclist killed in this accident as 64-year-old Tony Mitchell Long Sr.
Longview, TX -- April 30, 2022, a fatality was reported after a motorcycle collided with an SUV at a Longview intersection.
Reports say the incident happened around 7:00 p.m. on North Eastman Road as East Hawkins Parkway. Preliminary investigation suggests a Harley-Davidson motorcycle was traveling north on Eastman in the outside lane, approaching a steady green light at Hawkins. Nearby, a Lexus RX 350 was stopped facing south in the left-turn lane of Eastman. According to reports the Lexus driver made a left turn while the yellow arrow was flashing, failing to yield to the approaching motorcycle. The two collided in the intersection.
Investigators confirmed at least one person was killed in the crash.
No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Tony Long Accident at Eastman and Hawkins in Longview
UPDATE (May 18, 2022): Later investigative reports shed more light on the events of this accident. We have updated our own information above accordingly.
One thing conspicuously absent from newer reports is any suspicion that impairment was a factor. There are of course plenty of other reasons that such an accident could happen, from misjudging the timing of the turn to some kind of vehicular failure keeping someone from stopping, but if alcohol was ruled out by investigators I consider that a relief. Many similar crashes are ultimately found to have been caused by impaired judgment or slowed reflexes brought on by intoxication. This one is no less tragic with or without alcohol's involvement, but police seem to feel the true culprit was driver inattention.
My original thoughts on this accident involved an explanation of Texas dram shop law, a series of consumer protection laws that hold bars responsible for over-serving their customers. It may not apply to this accident, but as I said many others like it are caused by a bar's negligent over-service. It's best that as many people as possible be made aware of their rights after those crashes and I discuss it often.
ORIGINAL: While it's unclear what happened here, police generally look into a few common factors first when investigating how a car crash occurred. Among those factors are driver distraction, fatigue, and/or intoxication. There are other less-common factors to consider as well, of course, but it's worth addressing the most likely possibilities and their potential implications. Generally speaking, the only one with possible unique legal aspects is intoxication.
More specifically, if alcohol contributed to the wreck then it's important to find out where the drinks came from. Texas dram shop law states that a licensed alcohol vendor that over-serves alcohol to an obviously intoxicated customer may be liable for damages resulting from that person's intoxication.
I've litigated more dram shop cases than any other firm in the state, and over the years I've run into many weekend-evening crashes caused when someone was leaving an alcohol-selling establishment like a bar, a nightclub, or a restaurant. Put simply, if such an alcohol provider negligently contributes to someone's death, they should be held accountable and make what amends they can for the damage their over-service contributed to. Dram shop claims give families the tools needed to confront these establishments and ensure they take responsibility.
I bring up dram shop law because alcohol's a possible factor here, but I want to repeat that it's only one potential explanation of many. News reports are extremely vague right now and I'm not claiming to know better than them or investigators what happened. I only know that dram shop law has helped many people and could have helped many others who never knew about it, so I try to ensure the word is spread after wrecks where it could apply. If some outside party contributed to this tragic event, they need to answer for the part they played.