• July 18, 2022

Danielle Morgan, Hunter Poole, Thomas Martinez Ibarra, Edilsa Mendez Killed in Liberty, TX Wrong-Way Accident

Liberty, TX — July 16, 2022, Danielle Morgan, Hunter Poole, Thomas Martinez Ibarra, and Edilsa Mendez died in a wrong-way crash on US-90 in Liberty.

According to reports the incident happened just after midnight on the 200 block of US-90 near Texaco Road. Preliminary investigation suggests Martinez Ibarra, 47, was driving a Ford F-150 pickup truck west in the eastbound traffic lane. Soon afterward the Ford crashed into a Jeep Cherokee. After the impact the Jeep overturned.

Jeep driver Morgan, 30, and her passenger Poole, 27, died at the scene. Martinez Ibarra was also pronounced dead; his passenger Mendez, 54, was airlifted to a Houston-area hospital where she died a short time later.

The investigation continues. Investigators mentioned a belief that alcohol was a factor in the crash.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Wrong-Way Accident on US-90 in Liberty

It's always troubling when police mention alcohol as a possible factor in a terrible crash like this one. I would imagine at this point investigators only suspect it, and I wouldn't presume to draw any conclusions before evidence like blood test results could confirm their theory. If they do, it may be in the best interests of the victims' families to know about Texas dram shop law.

Dram shop law says that an alcohol provider who over-serves an obviously intoxicated person may be liable for any injuries that customer causes (even to himself) while under the influence. That means if a bar, club, or store sold or served the wrong-way driver too much alcohol before the crash on US-90, that business may have a legal duty to make what amends it can to the families who suffered a devastating loss because of its reckless and illegal actions.

Danielle Morgan, Hunter Poole, Thomas Martinez Ibarra, Edilsa Mendez Killed in Liberty, TX Wrong-Way Accident

To repeat, however, alcohol is only suspected at this point--not confirmed. I'm not making any accusations or jumping to conclusions, just talking about an area of the law that could have helped many people who never knew it existed. They didn't realize they had the right to confront a negligent business after their lives were changed forever by its recklessness, both securing much-needed assistance and ensuring the business learned an important lesson about getting its priorities straight.

So if authorities confirm alcohol as a factor, will they also find out where that alcohol came from? Too often they ignore that important step, which is why I often recommend enlisting the help of independent investigators. Armed with the evidence those professionals find, many people are able to hold bad bars properly accountable for their role in a devastating accident like the one in Liberty.

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