• August 15, 2022

Barbara Payne Killed in Alleged DWI Accident in San Marcos, TX

San Marcos, TX -- August 11, 2022, Barbara Payne was killed due to an accident which involved an allegedly intoxicated driver.

Officials with the the San Marcos Police Department reported that the crash took place at around 4:45 p.m. at the intersection of McCarty Lane and Hunter Road.

Investigations said that 77-year-old Barbara Payne was in a Toyota traveling outbound on Hunter Road. While turning onto McCarty, reports say that a Kia crashed into Payne's vehicle.

Due to the collision, Payne sustained fatal injuries. It's unclear if there were other injuries. Police allege that the other driver, Steven Pena, was intoxicated at the time of the collision. This and other details remain under investigation.

Commentary on Barbara Payne Car Accident in San Marcos

UPDATE: Recent information suggests that the allegedly drunk driver may have had nearly three times the legal limit of alcohol in his system when this incident occurred. If true, that's not just intoxicated--that's above where a lot of people black out. Below, I discuss dram shop law and the role alcohol providers can play in tragic accidents like this. Especially with these new allegations, are steps being taken to ensure all responsible parties are facing the consequences they deserve?

ORIGINAL: As serious as these reports seem, it's important folks know they're getting all the facts. The path forward for a family after such a devastating incident can very widely depending on the facts. For example, police say the driver here was intoxicated. If that's true, there's a big difference between if drugs were the intoxicant versus alcohol. This is due to dram shop law.

Barbara Payne Killed in Alleged DWI Accident in San Marcos, TX

Essentially, the law says that an alcohol provider who over-serves an obviously intoxicated person can be liable for damages resulting from that intoxication. Bars, liquor stores, restaurants, gas stations--holding those businesses accountable for contributing to crashes like this can get them to clean up their act while also getting victims and families some much needed help.

I certainly can't say if anything like that happened here, but I know from experience how important it is families know their crash is in the hands of professionals who know what to look for. Otherwise, there's no telling what could slip through the cracks.

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