One Injured in Three-Vehicle Crash on US-83 in Zapata, TX
Zapata, TX — May 16, 2022, a 34-year-old man was seriously injured in a traffic accident on U.S. Highway 83 in Zapata County.
According to reports the incident happened around 5:35 p.m. on US-83 at North Davis Lane. Preliminary investigation suggests a Chevrolet Trax SUV was headed east on Davis when it approached the highway intersection.
The driver allegedly disregarded the stop sign and began to turn north onto US-83; as it entered the highway's southbound lanes it was hit by the victim's Chevy Camaro. After the impact the Camaro ran into the oncoming lanes and hit a Ford Ecosport SUV.
The Camaro driver reportedly suffered serious injuries in the crash. The other two drivers received minor injuries.
Investigators reportedly believed the Trax driver might be under the influence of alcohol. Blood samples were collected for testing.
No further information is available at this time.
Commentary on Auto Accident on US-83 in Zapata
Whenever authorities bring up alcohol, even as just a vague theory about what happened, folks tend to latch onto it as gospel truth. That leads them to think a) that the at-fault driver will face related charges in short order and b) there's little else to say about it because that driver bears all the blame for the crash.
It's possible that blood tests will bear out investigators' suspicions, but that's not really the final nail in the matter as some people believe. DWI crashes often have other aspects that need to be addressed. For instance, if investigators find that a driver was illegally over-served by a local bar or other alcohol vendor then that business may be legally responsible for the damage done in the accident.
This is due to a unique and often-unknown area of the law called dram shop law. Basically, it says that an alcohol provider who over-serves an obviously intoxicated person may be liable for damages that person causes or suffers while under the influence.
Bars, restaurants, liquor stores, and even gas stations are expected to follow the rules they agreed to when getting their license. Failure to obey the law puts lives at risk, which is why dram shop makes them take responsibility for the harm their negligence leads to.
I can't say for sure alcohol was even a factor here, so even though I'm talking a little about dram shop law I'm not claiming to know it applies. However, the possibility is worth considering so folks understand the potential steps they can take to get the help they need.