• June 24, 2022

Michael Petty Killed, Noel Ortiz Injured in Arlington, TX Rollover Crash

UPDATE (June 30, 2022): Sources identified the pickup truck's injured passenger as 23-year-old Noel Ortiz.

Arlington, TX -- June 13, 2022, Michael Petty was killed and another person was injured after an accident where a pickup overturned.

Authorities reported that the crash took place just after midnight along East Abram Street near TX-360 and Watson.

According to officials, a 24-year-old man whom sources identified as Michael Petty was driving a pickup eastbound along Abram. For reasons unclear, the vehicle ran off road and crashed into a pole. This caused the vehicle to overturn.

Petty reportedly died due to the crash. A 23-year-old riding in the vehicle reportedly had serious injuries. Police currently say alcohol and speed are being considered as factors. Investigations are ongoing.

Commentary on Michael Petty, Noel Ortiz Accident in Arlington

It's obviously concerning that police brought up alcohol, though I want to make a few things clear. First of all, I know nothing about this crash beyond what publicly available reports say, and I don't claim to know differently.

Secondly, it's important folks keep in mind that initial reports don't always tell the whole story. Maybe police found specific evidence that the driver had been drinking, but there are times where they mention alcohol simply because it's common. This could be one of those times, which is why thorough investigations are so important to ensure authorities aren't overlooking other possible factors. Of course, part of those investigations will cover the possibility of alcohol, including whether or not some local bar contributed to this man's tragic death.

Michael Petty Killed, Noel Ortiz Injured in Arlington, TX Rollover Crash

That may sound unusual, but it's an important area of Texas law called dram shop law. It basically says that an alcohol provider who over-serves an obviously intoxicated person can be liable for damages resulting from that intoxication. I can't tell you how many times families came to me about a loved one involved in a deadly crash only to find police completely missed a local business that illegally over-served someone to the point they got themselves or someone else killed. Shouldn't they face consequences for being involved in such a devastating event? I know hundreds of families I've helped that would certainly say so.

Again, this is just one possibility, but it's part of a larger concern that authorities don't always give crashes the attention they deserve. The fact there are so few details about this in the news also makes me wonder if steps are really being taken to get the victims and families involved the answers they need. Especially if there are still people out there who need to be held accountable for all of this, ensuring independent investigators have a chance to look into a situation like that is almost always prudent.

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