Ronnie Kent Killed in Motorcycle Accident on FM 429 in Hunt County, TX
Hunt County, TX -- April 30, 2022, 61-year-old Ronnie Dale Kent was fatally injured in a motorcycle accident on Farm to Market Road 429 in Hunt County.
Authorities say the incident happened around 9:50 p.m. on FM 429 near County Road 335. Preliminary investigation suggests Kent was seen by a Texas DPS trooper riding a Harley-Davidson motorcycle southwest on the road when he approached a curve. According to reports he was traveling at an unsafe speed when he entered the curve and the bike left the road, traveling into the west bar ditch. It rolled over the surface of a gravel road, then vaulted into a tree and came to a stop on private property.
Kent suffered critical injuries and was ultimately airlifted to an area hospital where he died on May 2. Investigators noted a belief that he was intoxicated at the time of his accident and blood samples were collected for testing.
No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Ronnie Kent Accident on FM 429 in Hunt County
Police seem to think the victim of this accident was under the influence of alcohol at the time. Some may think there's not much else to say about that because the rider's tragic passing means he's beyond the reach of the law, but they may not be aware that another party--one that too often gets away with its role in alcohol-related accidents--should be held accountable as well for the damage done.
Under Texas dram shop law an alcohol provider that sells or serves drinks to an obviously intoxicated customer does so illegally. When that happens and the customer goes on to cause or suffer injuries while under the influence, dram shop law may hold that negligent business (a bar, restaurant, club, store, etc) responsible for the victim's damages.
Dram shop law is an important tool when helping people hurt by DWI crashes seek both help with their recovery and accountability from the parties that harmed them. Not every accident starts with a dram violation and I'm not saying this one necessarily did, but it seems like an important detail to know for certain. Despite that, law enforcement rarely takes an active role in looking for dram violations. If such an issue is suspected--and they happen far more often than people might believe--victims and families are often best served by independent investigations rather than waiting on police to take action. With the evidence of over-service that an independent investigator uncovers, many folks are able to hold a law-breaking business responsible for its recklessness and obtain much-needed help getting their lives back in order.