Teen Driver Injured in Rollover Crash on RM 1174 in Burnet County, TX
Burnet County, TX — June 18, 2022, an 18-year-old driver was seriously injured in a single-vehicle crash on Ranch to Market Road 1174 in Burnet County.
According to reports the incident happened around 2:45 p.m. on RM 1174 near County Road 328. Preliminary investigation suggests the teen was driving a Dodge Ram pickup truck at alleged high speeds on the roadway when he entered a curve and partially left his lane onto the shoulder. He over-corrected and the pickup entered a side-skid. It then overturned and rolled off the other side of the road, crashing into a fence and a utility pole.
The teen suffered serious injuries in the crash. When interviewed he allegedly told officers he consumed alcohol earlier that morning. Police also found several containers of beer at the scene. Blood samples were collected for toxicological testing.
No further information is available at this time.
Commentary on Burnet County Solo Crash on RM 1174
Alcohol is always a serious factor to consider when reports say it was involved in a crash. Not only should someone under the age of 21 never get the alcohol necessary to be in a DWI wreck, but it's also possible that a third party should face consequences for providing it to him.
With just a few exceptions, any adult giving alcohol to an underage person will likely face legal trouble if caught. Businesses that directly sell it to minors may even lose their licenses. In addition, those same businesses may actually be liable for the damage their young customers cause or suffer while under the influence.
This is due to dram shop law, which says that an alcohol provider who over-serves an obviously intoxicated person may be legally responsible for injuries resulting from that intoxication. Over the years working on dram shop and liquor liability cases, I've learned that alcohol vendors willing to sell to underage people at all don't usually have problems with over-serving them as well. If one did that in Burnet County, that business may have a duty to help the young man's family recover the best they can.
To be clear, I don't know that any local businesses had a hand in this unfortunate crash. The driver might simply have cracked a few open at home, and nothing says a business sold those beers to him directly. It just seems like a matter worth investigating more carefully in case a local store is getting much too casual about who can buy alcohol there. Will police trace the drinks back to their source, or would an independent investigation stand a better chance of getting that young driver the help he deserves?