• August 15, 2022

Teen Killed in Overturn Accident on Carthage Loop in Carthage, TX

Carthage, TX — August 14, 2022, one person died in an early-morning ejection accident on the Carthage Loop in Carthage.

According to reports the incident happened shortly before 2:00 a.m. on the southwest Carthage Loop near Dixie Lake Road. Preliminary investigation suggests only that a GMC Sierra pickup truck was traveling on the roadway when the driver lost control for unknown reasons. The truck overturned and the driver was reportedly ejected.

The victim was transported to a local hospital where he died a short time later.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Overturn Accident on Carthage Loop

UPDATE (September 29, 2022): Later reports about the accident indicate the accident victim, apparently a 17-year-old male, had a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of .168 at the time. Clearly that's troubling for more than one reason and merits further careful investigation: Not only should someone under 21 not have had access to alcohol at all, but there may be concerns that a local business is willing to look the other way for underage customers. Not only might that business need to face consequences for serving an underage customer, but it also might be liable for the tragic injuries he suffered in the crash under Texas dram shop law.

However, it's important not to drill down so much on alcohol's alleged involvement that all other possible factors fall by the wayside. Many accidents occur for more than one reason and all the contributors should be identified. Much of what I mentioned in my previous remarks about the need for a careful investigation still applies, as road conditions, possible vehicle malfunctions, and other elements should still be considered in pursuit of the whole story. If police are satisfied they've done enough here, though, maybe a second look is in order to fill in any remaining blanks.

Zachary Clark Killed in Overturn Accident on Carthage Loop in Carthage, TX

ORIGINAL: People may read the few facts available in preliminary reports and decide for themselves the driver made a mistake that ended in the rollover. It would likely be easy to conclude the pickup went into a curve at too high a speed or the driver lost control while texting (or for the more cynical, while impaired).

Driver mistakes should be carefully investigated, of course, but it's important not to take anything for granted. Other potential factors should also be considered--not just what caused the crash, but also the proximate cause of the victim's injuries. The two aren't always the same, which sometimes surprises people to learn.

For instance, what if a product malfunction or defect played a part here? Did the pickup's brakes fail or lock up? Did it tip over in the curve because its design didn't compensate for its high center of gravity? Reports say the victim was ejected, which police typically decide means they weren't buckled up, but could the seat belt have failed or broken instead?

Frankly police investigators don't always have the time, tools, or training to look for factors like that or others beyond the most obvious. It's always best to have the facts straight, and sometimes that means getting independent investigators to have another look. Click the image below to learn more.

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