Demarcus Franks Injured in Single-Vehicle Crash on FM 672 in Caldwell County, TX
Caldwell County, TX -- April 17, 2022, 39-year-old Demarcus Franks was injured in a single-vehicle accident on Farm to Market Road 672 in Caldwell County.
Authorities say the incident happened around 2:20 p.m. on FM 672 near St. John's Road. Preliminary investigation suggests Franks was driving a Ford pickup truck west on the roadway when he entered a curve at alleged unsafe speeds. The pickup left the roadway to the north while passing through the curve; Franks over-corrected and the truck then left the road to the south. It drove into a grassy area off the road and hit a culvert, then flipped over and rolled before coming to rest upright facing the road.
Franks was ejected during the rollover and suffered serious injuries. He was transported to an area hospital.
Paramedics reportedly told police Franks may have been under the influence of alcohol. Police planned to obtain his treatment records as part of a DWI investigation.
No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Demarcus Franks Accident on FM 672 in Caldwell County
If the victim's hospital treatment records confirm that alcohol consumption was involved here as police suspect, there may be further considerations to this crash--including whether a third party, one often overlooked after such accidents, should face consequences for its role in the damage done.
Texas dram shop law says alcohol providers who over-serve an obviously intoxicated person may be liable for damages he causes or suffers while under the influence. This law helps injured victims (including the alleged DWI drivers) seek badly-needed help after a crash. Moreover, it makes sure negligent businesses face consequences for endangering people with reckless over-service. Not every DWI accident involves a dram violation and most businesses follow the rules, but the ones who don't should be held accountable for what happens when they liquor up a customer and send them on their way.
With all that said, though, impairment is only a theory at this point even if police suspect it. They'll need proof, which is what treatment records are meant to provide. They could also disprove that suspicion, though, so as police wait for that evidence to become available they should still look into other possible explanations and not put all their eggs in one basket. The driver could simply have lost control while distracted or speeding, for instance, or the pickup could have hit a bad patch of road and gone off-course. Those and other non-alcohol-related reasons deserve consideration.
If police prove intoxication was involved, though, does that mean they'll trace the alcohol back to its source? Not likely. They rarely look for dram shop violations despite how important it is to put an end to those. It often takes independent investigation to ensure negligent businesses are held properly accountable and an injured victim gets the help they need.