• May 26, 2022

Collin Martin Dead in Roof Fall Accident on FM 529 in Harris County, TX

UPDATE (June 7, 2022): Sources have identified the victim of this accident as Collin Martin.

Harris County, TX ⁠— May 26, 2022, a man in his 20's died after falling from a warehouse rooftop on Farm to Market Road 529 in northwest Harris County.

Authorities say the incident happened Thursday at an industrial warehouse on the 12200 block of FM 529. Preliminary investigation suggests the victim and two friends gained access to a crane with a lift basket and rode it to the warehouse roof, roughly 40 feet off the ground. While on the roof one of the men fell through a skylight and suffered fatal injuries on landing.

Investigators believe the men were drinking alcohol together prior to getting on the roof.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Collin Martin Accident on FM 529 in Harris County

Reports make this incident sound like a drunken adventure gone horribly wrong. I have no reason to doubt that, but before anyone figures there's nothing else to say it's important to look at the greater context of what happened. I don't necessarily mean the unguarded crane, since one of the men apparently had a key for that. Instead, I mean it's important to find out where the victim and his buddies were drinking before they got on the roof.

Why is that important? Because Texas dram shop law says any business that over-served the victim before his fall may be responsible for his fatal injuries. Under dram shop law a licensed alcohol vendor like a bar or nightclub isn't allowed to serve more drinks to obviously intoxicated customers. Unfortunately, many such vendors consider that more of a polite request than an actual law and keep filling glasses as long as the money holds out. When they get people too drunk to make good choices and then send them on their way, almost inevitably someone gets hurt. Dram shop law gives the victims--including the over-served customers--the right to confront the law-breaking bar for the part it played in their damages.

If police think the men were out drinking before they rode the crane up, will they look into where that drinking took place? Little as I like saying this, probably not. Police don't pay much attention to dram violations, so if one is suspected (and it seems like it should be here) then the victim's loved ones may need the help of independent investigators to prove it. Armed with the evidence those experts uncover, many victims and families have held bars properly accountable for putting their customers and the public in harm's way.

Collin Martin Dead in Roof Fall Accident on FM 529 in Harris County, TX


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