Passenger Injured in UTV Crash on Cedar Grove Rd in Sabine County, TX
Sabine County, TX — July 11, 2022, a UTV's 18-year-old passenger was seriously injured in a crash on Cedar Grove Road in Sabine County.
Reports say the incident happened around 9:45 p.m. on Cedar Grove near Telephone Road. Preliminary investigation suggests a Polaris Ranger UTV was traveling east on the roadway. The driver swerved left for unknown reasons and the Ranger left the road, then overturned on an embankment.
The Ranger's passenger was partially ejected and the vehicle came to rest on top of him, causing serious injuries. The 22-year-old driver was unhurt.
No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Sabine County UTV Accident on Cedar Grove Rd
Reports suggest the driver in this crash had a BAC of .094, just north of the legal limit. If his state of impairment was a factor some may think that just means he'll be charged accordingly, but there may be other considerations beyond the obvious.
People don't always know that victims of DWI crashes are sometimes able to hold alcohol vendors accountable for the damage their drunk customers do under Texas dram shop law. That law says bars, stores, restaurants, and other alcohol providers can't give any more drinks to obviously intoxicated customers. If they do and those customers hurt someone, the business that over-served them may be liable for the damage done.
One of the conditions of a dram shop claim is that the bar must have sold or served drinks to the customer when he was obviously intoxicated. It's hard to say whether someone just a hair past the legal limit would have shown signs of impairment that servers or store clerks could pick up on, but if they could reasonably tell that he was past a safe limit and sold him more anyway they may be responsible for the injuries he caused.
Not every DWI crash involves a dram violation, but it's an important issue to look into any time alcohol consumption may be the cause of someone's injuries. Will police look into the possibility in Sabine County, or would the victim be better off having independent investigators take a closer look?