Keymon Jones Killed in Crash with Suspected DWI Driver in Arlington, TX
UPDATE (June 28, 2022): The victim of this accident has been identified as Keymon Jones.
Arlington, TX — June 26, 2022, a 22-year-old man died when an allegedly-intoxicated driver crashed into his car at an Arlington intersection.
According to reports the incident happened around 9:50 a.m. at the crossing of Collins Street and Arbrook Boulevard. Preliminary investigation and witness statements suggest an eastbound BMW vehicle on Arbrook ran a red light at the intersection and crashed into a Ford Focus that was passing through on a green light. The impact caused the Focus to overturn.
The Ford driver was pronounced dead at the scene. The BMW driver, 23-year-old Bryan Lizarzaburo Penafiel, was taken to an area hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Investigators believe Penafiel was intoxicated at the time of the accident and collected blood samples for testing. Intoxication manslaughter charges are expected after he is released from the hospital.
No further information is available at this time.
Commentary on Keymon Jones Accident in Arlington
UPDATE (August 1, 2022): Later reports indicate the suspect had a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of .19, over twice the legal limit, at the time of the crash. I don't say that to wag a finger, but confirmation that he was significantly over the legal limit for intoxication may change the course of the investigation.
As I mentioned in my previous remarks, alcohol-related crashes in Texas and many other states sometimes involve holding the businesses that served it responsible for the damage their intoxicated patrons cause or suffer. Under dram shop law any business that continued serving alcohol if their customer was obviously intoxicated may have a legal duty to make what amends it can to the victim's family.
First, though, the family would have to prove that such over-service happened. Police investigations are rarely helpful for that, so it's usually best to get help from independent investigators who know how to find the necessary evidence. Armed with receipts, witness statements, and video footage, many people affected by reckless over-service have held bad businesses accountable for breaking the law and contributing to their injuries or loss.
ORIGINAL: The at-fault driver is suspected of some very serious misbehavior here. If evidence shows he was intoxicated as police suspect, then the serious charges mentioned in the news may stick. A man lost his life, after all, and if drunk driving caused that then appropriate consequences should follow. However, it's important to find out if the person facing those consequences is really the only one to hold accountable.
Here's what I mean: If alcohol was a key factor of this accident then Texas dram shop law says whoever provided it may also be responsible for its tragic aftermath. Under dram shop law an alcohol provider who over-serves an obviously intoxicated person may be liable for damages resulting from that intoxication. The business could be a bar, liquor store, restaurant, or even a gas station, but if its staff serve or sell drinks to someone clearly past his limits then the law says they may be responsible for whatever harm he causes.
It's unclear if anything like that happened in Arlington. Even if the suspect was drunk, that doesn't mean a business broke the law with over-service to get him that way. The possibility just bears careful consideration in just about any wreck where alcohol and injuries are tied together. Considering the terrible and irreversible damage done, it seems like everyone responsible for the loss of that young man's life should be held accountable.