Woman, Child Injured by Wrong-Way Driver on Woodall Rodgers Fwy in Dallas, TX
Dallas, TX — July 31, 2022, a 27-year-old woman and a baby were seriously injured in a crash with a suspected drunk driver on Woodall Rodgers Freeway in Dallas.
Authorities say the incident happened around 3:50 a.m. on Woodall Rodgers near North Stemmons Freeway. Preliminary investigation suggests 23-year-old Niraj Patel was driving a Toyota RAV4 west on the highway in the far left lane when a Lexus sedan approached heading east, the wrong direction, in the same lane. Patel merged right to try and avoid the Lexus but the sedan hit the Toyota's front-left bumper.
The impact caused serious injuries to the Toyota's front passenger and a 1-year-old girl she was holding in her arms. Both were taken to an area hospital. Patel reported injuries at the scene but was not transported. The Lexus driver was arrested on suspicion of intoxicated assault and blood samples were collected for toxicology testing.
No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Niraj Patel Accident on Woodall Rodgers in Dallas
If blood tests confirm alcohol was involved here as police think, the wrong-way driver may face some stiff consequences for being intoxicated at the wheel--and the serious damage that decision led to. It's only right that serious penalties follow DWI wrecks, but at the same I firmly believe that everyone responsible for the victims' injuries should be held accountable. That's why it's important to talk about Texas dram shop law.
Under dram shop law, licensed alcohol providers who over-serve an obviously intoxicated person may be liable for injuries he causes while under the influence. Put another way, any bar, nightclub, restaurant, or store that sold or served drinks to the Dallas suspect if he was clearly past his limits may now have a duty to make what amends it can to the people he hurt while driving the wrong way.
A dram shop claim against an alcohol vendor lets the people hurt by its recklessness seek help with the difficult road to recovery, but perhaps just as importantly it ensures that business faces real consequences for illegally endangering its customers and the public. Despite all that, though, dram shop violators don't get much attention from police.
If a bar may have over-served the wrong-way driver before the accident, proving it may take independent efforts by seasoned experts. With the evidence they find, many victims and families have held bad alcohol providers just as accountable as drunk drivers for the serious damage they caused.