• May 20, 2022

David Byford Jr. Killed in Auto Accident on CR 4757 in Wise County, TX

Wise County, TX -- April 24, 2022, 42-year-old David Byford Jr. was killed in a single-vehicle accident on County Road 4757 in Wise County.

Authorities say the incident happened around 1:00 a.m. on CR 4757 near Farm to Market Road 730. Preliminary investigation suggests Byford was driving a GMC Sierra pickup east on the roadway when he lost control. The truck veered off the left side of the road and crashed into a tree, then rebounded and hit a nearby fence before coming to rest.

Byford suffered fatal injuries in the crash. Investigators believe he was intoxicated and collected blood samples for testing.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on David Byford Jr. Accident on CR 4757 in Wise County

Investigators stated a belief that the victim here was intoxicated. Reports aren't clear how they concluded that or if it was just a guess based on how the wreck happened, but it's important not to jump to any conclusions before the blood test results come back.

If they confirm the victim was intoxicated, some may feel there's not much else to say about it because his tragic passing means he's beyond any legal consequences. However, those people may not realize that another party should be investigated. Many drunk drivers have "accomplices" of sorts that too often escape any responsibility for their role in similar crashes. To that point, police should also find out where the victim's alcohol came from that night.

David Byford Jr. Killed in Auto Accident on CR 4757 in Wise County, TX

Texas and many other states broaden the scope of responsibility for DWI wrecks beyond the drivers to sometimes include the businesses that sold or served them drinks. If tests show the victim was intoxicated and further investigations determine a licensed alcohol vendor over-served him prior to the accident, that business may be responsible for his death under dram shop law.

When an alcohol provider keeps serving an obviously intoxicated customer and that customer's impairment causes injuries or death--including his own--dram shop law may hold that business liable for the damage done. It would then be expected to make whatever amends it could to the victim's grieving family or anyone else hurt by its reckless over-service.

Dram shop law is a valuable but often-unknown tool to help people affected by DWI accidents. Moreover, it teaches negligent businesses that making a few more bucks is never worth the risk it poses to public safety. So will the authorities look into the possibility of a dram shop violation here, or would an independent investigation better ensure the victim's family gets the help and justice they deserve?

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