Darrel Scott Killed, Brenda Bulsterbaum Injured in Wrong-Way Crash on I-35 in Temple, TX
UPDATE (June 17, 2022): Later reports have identified the mother injured in this crash as Brenda Bulsterbaum.
UPDATE (June 14, 2022): Police identified the wrong-way driver killed in this accident as 71-year-old Darrel Scott.
Temple, TX — June 10, 2022, a wrong-way driver was killed in a head-on collision with another vehicle on Interstate 35 in Temple.
Authorities say the incident happened shortly after 9:00 p.m. on I-35 near the exit to Midway Drive. Preliminary investigation suggests a driver was traveling south in the northbound lanes of the highway, possibly with their headlights off, when they collided head-on with an oncoming vehicle.
The wrong-way driver was pronounced dead at the scene. The occupants of the other vehicle, a mother and her three children, were taken to an area hospital in unknown condition.
The investigation continues. No further information is available at this time.
Commentary on Wrong-Way Accident on I-35 in Temple
Any crash involving a wrong-way driver--particularly one on a limited-access road like the interstate--may raise some big red flags, as it's unfortunately common for alcohol to be their cause. That wasn't mentioned in early reports about the Temple crash, but I suspect police will at least consider the possibility even as they look into others like confusing signage or driver disorientation.
If investigators find evidence that impairment was a factor, that could have implications many people don't realize. For instance, Texas dram shop law says that an alcohol provider who over-serves an obviously intoxicated person may be liable for damages he causes or suffers while under the influence. That means if a local bar or nightclub over-served the wrong-way driver before he got on the wrong side of the interstate then that business may have a duty to make amends both to his family and to the people in the vehicle he hit.
With that said, I repeat that impairment is only one possibility of many at this time and all potential explanations deserve consideration. In the meantime it's important to give the man who lost his life the benefit of the doubt unless clear evidence is found that says otherwise. If the facts ultimately point to impairment then there may be further considerations, but right now it's best to focus on how the people affected by this crash can be helped.