• May 03, 2022

Lois Rivette Killed in Auto-Pedestrian Accident on East Freeway in Houston, TX

UPDATE (May 10, 2022): The victim of this accident has been identified as 50-year-old Lois Rivette.

Houston, TX -- May 3, 2022, a pedestrian was fatally struck by two vehicles on the East Freeway in Houston.

Authorities say the incident happened around 3:20 a.m. on the 15100 block of the East Freeway at Dell Dale. Preliminary investigation suggests a pedestrian was walking in the roadway for unknown reasons when they were hit by an eastbound Hyundai Sonata in the #5 lane. Reports say the Hyundai was changing lanes when it hit the victim, throwing them forward. After the first impact a Chevrolet C1500 pickup, also changing lanes, struck the victim a second time.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. Both drivers remained after the accident and showed no signs of impairment.

The investigation continues. No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Lois Rivette Accident on East Fwy in Houston

One thing people don't always realize about pedestrian accidents is that they're more complex than just finding out who had the right-of-way. After these terrible incidents I see people shrug and blame the pedestrian unless they were in a crosswalk, or point out it's illegal to walk on the highway according to the Texas Transportation Code. They're not wrong that it's dangerous to be on foot on a highway, but the law looks at the broader circumstances of these crashes instead of making such snap judgments.

Even if a pedestrian is walking in a place meant for car traffic that doesn't make them open season for vehicles. If a careful investigation found that either driver on the East Freeway was doing something that prevented them from reacting appropriately to the pedestrian in their path, they could be responsible for the collision whether or not they had the right-of-way.

On the other side of that, if evidence shows they had no way to reasonably avoid the victim then it would be unfair to hold them accountable for the damage done. Police seem to have ruled out intoxication on their parts, but that still leaves questions about visibility, distraction, speeding, and many others that need to be resolved to ensure the accident is fully understood.

Lois Rivette Killed in Auto-Pedestrian Accident on East Freeway in Houston, TX

Furthermore, the drivers' state of impairment may not be the only one to look at. I mean no disrespect by pointing this out, but pedestrians sometimes end up where they shouldn't be after leaving local bars or other alcohol-serving businesses and getting disoriented due to their state of intoxication. I recently worked on a case where a man was killed on a freeway on-ramp after leaving a bowling alley where he was drastically over-served, leading him to get turned around and walk into a car's path. When a business breaks the law by providing drinks to obviously intoxicated customers that way, under dram shop law the business may be responsible for the damage their customers cause or suffer while drunk.

I don't mean to say I know more about what happened on the East Freeway than the news currently relates. I also don't want to suggest that pedestrians can't just make mistakes. It's just important folks keep in mind that these accidents are not always as straightforward as they may seem. A full investigation must be conducted to be sure the victim's loved ones receive the answers they deserve.

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