Nicholas Cahoon Killed in Car Accident on Janet Drive in Amarillo, TX
Amarillo, TX -- May 29, 2022, 24-year-old Nicholas Cahoon was killed after exiting the window of a moving vehicle on Janet Drive in Amarillo.
According to reports the incident happened around 2:05 a.m. on Janet Drive near Southwest 34th Avenue. Preliminary investigation suggests 24-year-old Alexandra Benavidez was driving a Ford Taurus sedan south on Janet when Cahoon allegedly jumped out the back driver's side window onto the roadway.
Cahoon suffered a head injury that ultimately proved fatal. Benavidez and a second passenger in the car were unhurt.
Blood tests later showed that Benavidez had a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of .111 at the time of the accident.
No further information is available at this time.
Commentary on Nicholas Cahoon Accident on Janet Dr in Amarillo
Police seem to have confirmed that the driver involved in this accident was over the legal limit at the time. That may result in some consequences for her, but it also seems to be more or less coincidental and not necessarily the direct cause of her passenger's injuries.
Based on how the accident was described, though, I wonder if the passenger might also have been impaired. I don't want to speak ill of a man who lost his life, but at the very least it seems like that possibility should be investigated.
Unfortunately police aren't likely to test for intoxication for anyone except the driver. Somebody should, though. Why? Because if she and her passengers were drinking at a local bar or other alcohol-serving business and the passenger drank too much to make good choices, that business might be responsible for his fatal injuries under Texas dram shop law.
Dram shop law basically says alcohol vendors like bars, restaurants, clubs, and stores can't sell or serve drinks to an obviously intoxicated customer. If they keep refilling someone's glass when they can clearly tell that person is past his limits, they break the law. Period. In those cases they may be liable if their customer hurts himself or anyone else while under the influence of all those drinks.
Dram shop claims serve the double purpose of getting badly-injured people and families who lose loved ones the help they need and also teaching negligent bars a hard lesson about getting their priorities in order. It's not okay to put profits ahead of customer and public safety, but sometimes businesses lose sight of that. When that happens, sometimes a dram shop claim is the wake-up call they need to get their act together.