Ashley Dix Killed in Auto Accident on TX-99 in Montgomery County
Montgomery County, TX — September 17, 2022, 26-year-old Ashley Dix died after falling out of a U-turning pickup truck on State Highway 99 in Montgomery County.
Authorities say the incident happened around 2:00 a.m. on TX-99 at FM 1485. Preliminary investigation suggests Dix was a passenger in a pickup truck traveling along the highway when the driver, 30-year-old Jonathan Chiu, tried to make a U-turn. As the truck turned Dix reportedly fell out of the passenger door for unknown reasons and suffered injuries that soon proved fatal.
Investigators performed field tests on Chiu and said he was intoxicated; he was taken into custody at the scene.
The investigation is ongoing. No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Ashley Dix Accident in Montgomery County
If evidence confirms investigators' suspicions and the driver was intoxicated when this terrible incident occurred, he may face some serious consequences for his poor choices that night. It's only fitting that drunk drivers receive stiff punishments considering the risk they pose to themselves and the public. Moreover, depending on where and how the driver drank there may be further questions of liability to settle; under Texas dram shop law, any business that over-served him may be liable for the damage done to his passenger.
However, the circumstances of the accident do give me some pause for thought here. If the news has its facts straight then the vehicle's passenger door must have popped open as it U-turned, at which point the passenger fell out. That could mean the truck was going much too fast when it turned and physics took a nasty turn, but I also can't help but wonder if the door either wasn't fully shut or had a faulty latch. If the latter is true and a defective part made the door swing open and allowed the passenger to fall out, then the vehicle's maker may have some answering to do as well.
I'm not pointing fingers or trying to overcomplicate things. I just firmly believe that in a situation like this where a life was lost, it's only right that everyone with a hand in that be held responsible for its role. Whether that's the driver, a bar that got him too drunk, or an automaker that saved a few pennies per truck on latches that failed during high-speed turns, no one is immune from answering for their part.