Driver Injured in Single-Vehicle Crash off I-20 in Van Zandt County, TX
Van Zandt County, TX — July 1, 2022, a 29-year-old man was seriously injured in a single-vehicle accident off Interstate 20 in Van Zandt County.
Reports say the incident happened around 11:45 p.m. on the I-20 service road near County Road 3442. Preliminary investigation suggests the victim was driving a Honda Odyssey minivan east on the service road when he failed to maintain a single lane. The van swerved through the westbound lane and briefly into the north bar ditch, where it struck a metal mailbox pole. It then continued east a short distance before coming to a stop in the driveway of a local business.
The driver suffered serious injuries in the wreck. Investigators suspected he might have been intoxicated and collected blood samples for testing.
No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Auto Accident off I-20 in Van Zandt County
It's always concerning when investigators mention that alcohol may have played a role in a crash. To be clear it's only a theory unless they find specific evidence (like positive blood test results), but looking into that possibility is important for a number of reasons. Obviously it's dangerous for anyone to drive drunk, but a local business may also have broken the law by selling or serving too many drinks to the driver.
That's dealt with by dram shop law, which says any business that illegally over-serves its customers may be liable for the damage they cause or suffer while drunk. In the I-20 crash, for example, a bar or restaurant that over-served the driver might be obligated by law to help him recover from his injuries.
To reiterate, police think alcohol may have been involved here but they don't know for sure. I don't bring up dram shop law because I know it's an issue, but because it could be and too many people who could have used its help never knew about it at all. Knowing if it applies here would take further careful investigation, and it's unlikely police will carry things on to that degree after the blood tests come back. People hurt in DWI crashes caused by negligent over-service often need the help of independent investigators to prove it. Will those steps be needed here?