• August 15, 2022

Jennifer Cota, Michael Jackson Killed in Wrong-Way Crash on PGBT in Richardson, TX

Richardson, TX — August 13, 2022, Jennifer Cota and Michael Jackson died in a wrong-way collision on President George Bush Turnpike in Richardson.

Reports say the incident happened around 4:30 a.m. on the Bush Turnpike near Jupiter Road. Preliminary investigation suggests Cota was driving a Buick Verano sedan west in the eastbound lanes of the highway, against traffic, when she collided head-on with Jackson's Honda Accord.

Cota, 23, and Jackson, 41, were both pronounced dead at the scene.

The investigation continues. No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Jennifer Cota, Michael Jackson Accident in Richardson

It often involves heavily-compromised judgment to travel the wrong way on a controlled-access road like the Bush Turnpike, and one of the most common ways to make a mistake like that--particularly at this time of night/morning--is being intoxicated.

Later reports indicate police smelled alcohol on the wrong-way driver and found some open containers in her vehicle, meaning they'll probably consider impairment as a potential factor. If they find clear evidence of it, people may think there's still not much else to say there since the wrong-way driver's tragic passing means she's beyond legal consequences. However, there may be another party that should be held accountable for the damage done.

Jennifer Cota, Michael Jackson Killed in Wrong-Way Crash on PGBT in Richardson, TX

Texas dram shop law says that a licensed alcohol provider cannot legally serve or sell drinks to an obviously intoxicated customer. That surprises many people since they've seen businesses do exactly that on many occasions, but it's very much illegal. If evidence shows one did so with the Richardson wrong-way driver before this terrible accident, that business may be liable for both her and the other driver's fatal injuries.

The law punishes drunk drivers when it can, so it seems only fair that the businesses helping them get that way should face consequences too. Dram shop law is the method to punish bad bars while also helping the people they hurt get much-needed assistance. Will police look into a possible dram violation here, or should independent investigators take another look on behalf of the victims' families?

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