• May 23, 2022

Four Teens Killed in Single-Vehicle Accident on FM 56 in Whitney, TX

Whitney, TX -- May 21, 2022, four high-school-age teens were killed in a single-vehicle accident on FM 56 in Bosque County.

Authorities say the incident happened around 9:20 p.m. on FM 56 near FM 2114 in Whitney. According to reports it was raining and roads were wet at the time. Preliminary investigation suggests a Land Rover SUV was headed south on the roadway when the driver tried to pass another vehicle in a no-passing zone but lost control. The SUV left the road in a curve and crashed into a cluster of trees, then caught fire.

All four of the SUV's occupants--later identified as 19-year-olds Brouke Olvera and Evan Lovejoy, 17-year-old Mackenzie Bewley, and 14-year-old Lexi Olvera--died at the scene.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Bosque County Car Accident

UPDATE (July 15, 2022): Later reports indicate the victim driving the SUV at the time of the accident had a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of .203. I say that with absolutely no intent to sully his name or judge, but confirmation that he was significantly over the legal limit for intoxication raises several troubling questions.

Obviously one of the most pressing is where his alcohol came from that day. It's bad enough to think that a private individual may have provided enough to an underage person for him to more than double the legal limit, but even more disturbing is the possibility that a business sold it directly to him. Any business willing to let minors purchase alcohol already faces a number of serious administrative penalties like fines or the revocation of their license.

What people may not know is that the same business could also have some civil liability for the accident's terrible consequences if it sold or served that young man in excess, which his BAC would suggest. Under Texas dram shop law a licensed alcohol vendor may not continue to serve an obviously intoxicated customer (or in the case of a store, sell him further beverages). Any business that does so breaks the law, period. When it does, it may find itself legally accountable for any damage its customer causes or suffers while under the influence of that excessive alcohol.

Brouke Olvera, Evan Lovejoy, Mackenzie Bewley, Lexi Olvera Killed in Single-Vehicle Accident on FM 56 in Whitney, TX

This incident is a tragedy no matter how responsibility is divvied up, and my heart goes out the families of the young people who lost their lives. I only know after long experience that at some point their mourning may turn into desire for answers, and one of those answers might be where the underage driver's alcohol came from. Police don't often look into that detail, however, so if they won't help then an independent investigation may be in order. Anything beyond bringing them as much of the truth as is available would depend on what that truth turns out to be.

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