• September 01, 2022

Jason Balderrama Injured in Auto Accident on Loop 338 in Ector County, TX

Ector County, TX — August 1, 2022, 18-year-old Jason Balderrama was seriously injured in an auto accident on Loop 338 in Ector County.

According to authorities the incident happened around 2:50 a.m. on Loop 338 near mile marker 289. Preliminary investigation suggests Balderrama was driving a Dodge Ram 1500 pickup truck west on the loop when he allegedly failed to maintain a single lane. The Dodge swerved off the south side of the road, hit a chain link fence, then crashed into a parked flatbed trailer on the other side. It then spun away from the impact point and hit a nearby telephone pole.

Balderrama suffered serious injuries in the crash. Investigators say he told them he fell asleep at the wheel, but also reported finding several cans of alcohol scattered around the crash site.

The investigation is ongoing. No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Jason Balderrama Accident in Ector County

Alcohol is always a serious factor to consider when reports say it might have caused a crash, but rarely is that more true that when the alleged drunk driver is underage. Not only should someone younger than 21 never get the alcohol necessary to be in a DWI wreck, but it's also possible that a third party should face consequences for providing it to him.

With just a few exceptions, any adult giving alcohol to an underage person will likely face legal trouble if caught. Businesses that directly sell it to minors may even lose their licenses. In addition, those same businesses may actually be liable for the damage their young customers cause or suffer while under the influence due to Texas dram shop law.

Jason Balderrama Injured in Auto Accident on Loop 338 in Ector County, TX

Over the years working on dram shop and liquor liability cases, I've learned that alcohol vendors willing to sell to underage people don't usually have problems with over-serving them as well. If one did that in Ector County, it may have a duty to help the victim get back on his feet.

To be clear, so far alcohol use isn't confirmed--to say nothing of whether anyone provided it illegally. It just seems like a matter worth investigating more carefully in case a local business is getting way too casual about who can buy drinks there. Will police act on that concern, or would an independent investigation stand a better chance of getting the victim the help he deserves?

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