• August 09, 2022

Passenger Jumps from Pickup, Injured on Dairy Road in Garland, TX

Garland, TX — July 23, 2022, a 26-year-old woman was seriously injured in a single-vehicle accident on Dairy Road in Garland.

According to reports the incident happened around 2:20 a.m. on Dairy Road near Marguerita Drive. Preliminary investigation suggests 32-year-old Johnathan Ratliff was driving a Chevrolet C2500 pickup truck south on Dairy in the inside lane. Reports say the passenger opened her door while the pickup was in motion in an alleged effort to escape and fell out onto the road. She was then hit by the pickup truck as it continued south.

The vehicle's passenger suffered incapacitating injuries in the accident and was taken to an area hospital.

Investigators believed Ratliff was under the influence of alcohol and drew blood samples for testing.

No further information is available at this time.

Commentary on Passenger Accident on Dairy Rd in Garland

I won't presume to speculate on that young woman's motives for trying to escape the vehicle as reported. That's not my place and I'm sure she had her reasons. However, if evidence shows the driver was impaired as suspected then part of me wonders if she might also have been under the influence. At the very least it seems like that possibility should be investigated. Why? Because if that passenger was over-served at a local bar and her judgment was affected, that business might be responsible for her injuries under Texas dram shop law.

Passenger Jumps from Pickup, Injured on Dairy Road in Garland, TX

Dram shop law basically says alcohol vendors like bars, restaurants, clubs, and stores can't sell or serve drinks to an obviously intoxicated customer. If they keep refilling someone's glass when they can clearly tell that person is past her limits, they break the law. In those cases they may be liable if their customer hurts herself or anyone else while under the influence of all those drinks.

Dram shop claims serve the double purpose of getting badly-injured people help with their recovery and also teaching negligent bars a hard lesson about not breaking the law. It's wrong put profits ahead of customer and public safety, but sometimes businesses lose sight of that. When that happens, sometimes a dram shop claim is the wake-up call they need to get their act together.

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