• September 28, 2022

Brandon Brinkman Killed in Single-Vehicle Accident on US-377 in Erath County, TX

Erath County, TX — September 9, 2022, 21-year-old Brandon Brinkman died in a single-vehicle accident on U.S. Highway 377 in Erath County.

Authorities say the incident happened around 2:10 a.m. on US-377 near mile marker 358. Preliminary investigation suggests Brinkman was driving a Honda Civic north on the highway when he entered a left-hand curve and lost control for unknown reasons. The car ran off the road into the bat ditch, then hit a culvert and rolled over. It came to rest upright on the east side of the road.

Brinkman suffered fatal injuries in the crash. Investigators noted a suspicion that he was intoxicated at the time and ordered toxicology tests.

No further information is available at this time.

Commentary on Brandon Brinkman Accident in Erath County

If blood tests confirm the victim was intoxicated as police suspect, some may think there isn't much else to say about that since his tragic passing means he's beyond any legal consequences. However, knowing intoxication was a factor could mean there's another party to hold accountable for the damage done. 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 or suffers while under the influence. Too often people--including investigators--focus too much on the drivers in these accidents and don't give a second thought to the bars, restaurants, and stores that knowingly and willingly served them past their limits, yet those establishments clearly played a central role in the crash's result. Shouldn't they be held accountable for their part as well? The law thinks so and I certainly agree.

Brandon Brinkman Killed in Single-Vehicle Accident on US-377 in Erath County, TX

Having said that, intoxication is just a theory in Erath County unless clear evidence says otherwise. It's important not to lose sight of other possible explanations in the meantime. Anything from wet roads to vehicle malfunctions to simply getting distracted at a bad moment could have been behind the crash, and I'm not saying I know differently--just talking about an important part of the law that folks often aren't aware of.

The most important thing right now is to be thorough and deliver what answers there are to the victim's loved ones. Any other steps would depend on what those facts turn out to be.

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