Eugene Barnes Killed in Crash with Alleged DWI Driver on FM 2145 in Fayette County, TX
Fayette County, TX -- May 14, 2022, 56-year-old Eugene Barnes died when his motorcycle was hit by an alleged DWI driver on FM 2145 in Fayette County.
Reports say the incident happened shortly before 7:30 p.m. near the intersection of FM 2145 and FM 1291. Preliminary investigation suggests driver William Kubena was in a pickup truck near the intersection when he allegedly failed to yield to Barnes' westbound motorcycle. The two collided in the roadway and Barnes suffered fatal injuries.
According to reports, Kubena was arrested on a potential charge of intoxication manslaughter after the accident.
The investigation continues. No further information is available at this time.
Commentary on Eugene Barnes Accident on FM 2145 in Fayette County
The suspect in this crash reportedly faces a very serious charge, but I don't write this blog to dogpile on people suspected of intoxication. Their alleged crimes and the related consequences are a matter for the courts and the suspect will have his day in one to answer for what happened.
Rather than speculate about his potential fate in the justice system, I feel it's more important to talk about what can be done for those harmed by the crash--including the family of the man whose life was claimed. They may feel some sense of closure in knowing the offending driver may face punishment, but another party could also be responsible for their loss. If intoxication played a role in this tragedy, the victim's family should be aware of Texas dram shop law.
Dram shop law says that a licensed alcohol provider who over-serves an obviously intoxicated person may be liable for damages that person causes while under the influence. That means bars, restaurants, liquor stores, and other businesses can be held legally responsible when they keep pouring drinks for customers who clearly should be cut off. If those over-served customers hurt themselves or someone else, the law-breaking business may have a duty to help the people hurt by its negligence. Not only does dram shop law help victims and families get back on their feet after such harmful experiences, it's also a way to punish negligent alcohol providers and keep them from putting communities in further danger.
Despite how serious they are, though, dram violations don't get much attention from police. Their job is to find and deal with committed crimes. That's certainly important, but jail time doesn't really help the people hurt by those crimes with the hardships of recovery. That's why it's often necessary to have independent investigators look into these accidents rather than waiting for police reports. The sooner that happens the sooner there can be some real answers. Any further steps would largely depend on what those answers turn out to be.