• July 12, 2022

Travis Griffin Killed in Motorcycle Accident on TX-158 in Midland County

Midland County, TX — July 9, 2022, 41-year-old Travis Griffin died in a motorcycle accident on State Highway 158 in Midland County.

According to reports the incident happened around 11:30 p.m. at the intersection of TX-158 and south County Road 1110. Preliminary investigation suggests Griffin was riding a Harley-Davidson motorcycle on SCR 1110 when he stopped at the highway intersection. Reports say he then pulled forward and failed to yield to an approaching Ford F-250 that hit him in the crossroads.

Griffin, allegedly not wearing a helmet at the time, suffered fatal injuries.

The investigation continues. No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Travis Griffin Accident in Midland County

UPDATE (August 30, 2022): Later reports indicate the accident victim had a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of .247 at the time. I don't say that with any judgment, but evidence that he was more than three times the legal limit for intoxication may mean there's more to this story.

Texas dram shop law holds businesses that over-serve alcohol responsible for the injuries their intoxicated patrons cause or suffer while under the influence. Not every DWI crash starts with a law-breaking bar, but finding out where the drinks came from is an important and often-neglected step--both to stop a bad bar from endangering its customers and community and to help ensure that victims and families get justice for their injuries or loss.

Unfortunately police rarely look past DWI drivers to where they drank, so if a dram violation is suspected it's usually best to seek help elsewhere from people who know how to get the needed proof. With that in hand many victims and families have held bad businesses accountable for the terrible damage they helped cause.

Travis Griffin Killed in Motorcycle Accident on TX-158 in Midland County

ORIGINAL: Reports suggest this accident, while tragic, may be largely due to the victim's failure to yield at that intersection. Maybe that's really all there is to it, but rather than shrug and take that at face value it would likely be best to look more carefully for any other factors.

Here's an example of what I mean: Not long ago in West Texas a man was involved in a fatal T-bone crash with an 18-wheeler at an intersection. Investigators did a brief once-over and concluded the victim ran a stop sign, meaning he was to blame for the damage done. That was the accepted story for weeks until independent accident reconstruction experts took another look. They learned the intersection's stop signs were removed by TxDOT road crews for construction, meaning the victim didn't know he had to stop there before the collision. With that information in hand it became clear the wrong person had taken the blame in preliminary reports.

That's a pretty unusual situation, but the point is that police fixated too much on a simple explanation and ignored compelling evidence that didn't fit it. Things like that happen all the time in crashes, but unless the right set of eyes looks again the wrong explanation much too often gets taken for the real one. If there's any confusion or doubt about what happened in Midland County, the victim's loved ones may want to have an independent expert look again.

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