• July 29, 2022

Man, Child Injured in UTV Accident on CR 308 in Rusk County, TX

Rusk County, TX — July 3, 2022, a 25-year-old man and a child were injured in a UTV accident on County Road 308 in Rusk County.

According to reports the incident happened around 7:25 p.m. on CR 308 near U.S. Highway 259. Preliminary investigation suggests the man was driving a Polaris Ranger OHV west on the roadway at alleged unsafe speeds when he lost control. The Ranger veered off the south side of the road and crashed through a barbed wire fence, then hit a tree.

The driver sustained serious injuries in the crash and was taken to an area hospital. A 2-year-old child in the Ranger received minor injuries.

Investigators suspected the driver was under the influence of intoxicants at the time of the accident. Blood samples were collected for testing.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Rusk County UTV Accident on CR 308

To be clear, police mentioning intoxication doesn't automatically mean it was a factor. I've seen plenty of reports where police suspected one thing just for further investigation to show completely separate factors were involved. Maybe the same is true here as well, which is why it's important to make sure all possible factors get the attention they deserve.

That said, the possible involvement of alcohol is always concerning. Drunk driving is a dangerous thing to do, but more than that alcohol-related crashes often happen after someone is illegally over-served alcohol. That can have serious consequences of its own.

Man, Child Injured in UTV Accident on CR 308 in Rusk County, TX

Texas dram shop law says businesses may be liable if they over-serve an obviously intoxicated customer and that customer then causes or suffers harm. Not only does dram shop help hold those businesses accountable, it can also be a significant source of assistance for the victims and families affected by DWI crashes.

I bring that up because people come to me a lot after similar wrecks only to hear about dram shop for the first time. Police don't pay that area of the law much mind, focusing instead on the drunk drivers themselves and missing the forest for the trees.

Whatever led to this crash, getting answers for the people affected by it should always be a priority. Did the authorities understand that, or are thorough independent investigations needed to show there's more to the story?

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