Daniel Cuc Killed in Auto-Pedestrian Accident on Veterans Memorial Drive in Harris County, TX
Harris County, TX -- February 18, 2022, 39-year-old Daniel Cuc was killed in an auto-pedestrian accident on Veterans Memorial Drive in Harris County.
Reports say the incident happened around 7:15 p.m. on the 12800 block of Veterans Memorial near Castle Knoll Drive. Preliminary investigation suggests Cuc was crossing the roadway from west to east, outside of a crosswalk, as a Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck approached from the south. According to reports Cuc failed to yield the right-of-way to the approaching vehicle and was hit in the northbound lanes.
Cuc suffered fatal injuries in the collision and was pronounced dead at a local hospital. Tests later revealed that he had a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of .33 at the time of the accident.
No further information is available at this time.
Commentary on Daniel Cuc Accident on Veterans Memorial Drive
It may not seem particularly important to confirm if a pedestrian was intoxicated after an accident like this. He wasn't driving and is now beyond the law's reach, so why even check for that aside from making sure the report is thorough? Actually, that detail may make things more complex than some realize.
Few would argue that crossing in front of traffic on a busy thruway with no protections like a crosswalk or light isn't a dangerous thing for a pedestrian to do. Knowing that the victim in this case was over four times the legal limit for intoxication, I can't help but wonder if that had anything to do with his decisions in that moment. One could argue that impairment affected his judgment and was thus partly responsible for his tragic injuries. In a situation like that, Texas dram shop law might have something to say about the negligence of whoever over-served the victim.
Under dram shop law, a licensed alcohol vendor like a bar or restaurant is prohibited from selling or serving alcohol to an obviously intoxicated customer. If they do and the customer causes or suffers harm because of that intoxication, the business that over-served him may be legally liable for the damage done. It would then be expected to make amends to those affected by its reckless behavior.
Here's an example: Not long ago a family came to me about a loved one who was hit and killed by a car after he walked onto a freeway ramp. They didn't understand how or why he got there and asked us to look more closely. Our investigations revealed that he spent that day drinking at a bowling alley, which illegally over-served him despite him clearly being obviously intoxicated. Because the bar kept serving him long past his limits and he wound up in a fatal accident while too drunk to act safely, the business was liable for their role in his death under Texas dram shop law.
Not every alcohol-related accident starts with a dram shop violation, and it's possible nothing of the sort happened before the victim ended up on the road in Harris County. However, since it's also possible that a) a bar or other business played a role in a man's life being ended and b) under the law that bar may have a duty to help the victim's family with their loss, then investigating it further should at least be considered.