Antonio Arreola, One Other Injured in Wrong-Way Crash on I-45 in Ellis County, TX
Ellis County, TX — July 24, 2022, 21-year-old Antonio Arreola and a 32-year-old woman were injured in a car accident on I-45 in Ellis County.
According to reports the incident happened around 12:40 a.m. on I-45 near Wester Road. Preliminary investigation suggests Arreola was driving a Kia Forte south on the interstate in lane one when a second Kia Forte approached from the north, traveling southward in Arreola's lane. The two collided in the northbound roadway; each then spun away from the impact site.
Reports say both Arreola and the wrong-way driver were injured in the crash and were taken to an area hospital. Police believe the wrong-way driver may have been intoxicated and obtained a warrant for her treatment records.
No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Antonio Arreola Accident in Ellis County
I've learned over decades in this field that it's best to pay close attention to big waving red flags after a wreck like this. A late-night/early-morning timeframe is one because it's the "witching hour" of DWI, so a lot of these wrecks involve people not in their right minds. Furthermore, someone going the wrong way on a controlled-access highway like the interstate typically means they're not thinking clearly.
Is it possible the wrong-way driver just ended up going toward headlights due to confusion or unclear highway signage? Sure. However, police mention a strong suspicion of alcohol here so it's important to carefully investigate that--not to incriminate the driver, but rather to find out whether she too was a victim of someone else's negligence.
Texas dram shop law says that an alcohol provider who over-serves an obviously intoxicated person may be liable for injuries she causes and/or suffers while under the influence. If a bar serves someone to the point she gets on the wrong side of an interstate without noticing and then crashes, does that really sound like she was reasonably served and cut off at the right time?
At the end of the day, it'll take more thorough independent investigations to actually say what happened here and who all may be responsible. Would it really be okay for the wrong-way driver to take all the blame if a local establishment might have broken the law as well? I doubt the people hurt in this wreck would say so.