• May 11, 2022

Cortney Smartt Killed, Daesha Johnson Injured in Valley View, TX Car Accident

Valley View, TX -- May 10, 2022, 30-year-old Cortney Smartt died and two women were injured after an early-morning car accident on Interstate 35 in Valley View.

Reports say the incident happened around 1:00 a.m. on northbound I-35 near Hockley Creek Road. Preliminary investigation suggests 73-year-old Angela Winn's SUV was disabled in the middle of the roadway due to a previous collision when she was hit a second time by another vehicle driven by Smartt.

Both drivers and a passenger in Smartt's car, 19-year-old Daesha Johnson, suffered serious injuries and were taken to an area hospital. Smartt was pronounced dead just before 2:00 a.m.

The crash is still under investigation. No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Cortney Smartt, Daesha Johnson Accident in Valley View

UPDATE (August 19, 2022): Later investigative reports say that the stranded driver in this accident had a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of .139 at the time. The driver who died was also tested and was negative for intoxicants.

What this means in terms of the crash is that the surviving driver may now face some legal consequences not only for being intoxicated, but also because that intoxication may have been directly related to the crash that put her in the path of the other vehicle on the highway.

In addition, there may be concerns that a local business is also responsible for the damage done. Under dram shop law any business that over-served the DWI driver before the accident may be liable for the injuries she caused and suffered while impaired. It's not certain that any business broke the law in that fashion, but it's an important detail to find out.

ORIGINAL: My heart goes out to everyone affected by this tragic incident. I would think that in their place I'd want more answers about how it happened. At the very least a more thorough investigation could deliver some much-need closure, but if it's anything like many other similar crashes I've seen there may be details to discover that change what could happen next.

As things stand there are far too many lingering questions that haven't been addressed: How long was the SUV disabled in the roadway before the other car arrived? What were the circumstances of the first crash? Did the stranded driver activate the SUV's lights, including its hazards? Was that possible, or was the SUV too damaged? Does that stretch of road have streetlights? Could anything have obstructed the second driver's view of the disabled SUV as she approached it? Was the second driver's full attention on the road? If not, why not? Where were both drivers earlier that evening before they ended up on the highway?

None of that is meant to overcomplicate things or make accusations. I'm only saying what I so often do: When someone is hurt or killed in an accident it's important not to jump to any conclusions, but instead to investigate carefully and learn all the available facts. If police don't look for more answers and try harder to make sense of this terrible accident, the victims and their loved ones may not get the whole story they deserve.

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