• October 03, 2022

David Lewandowski Killed, Kimberly Thomas Injured in Smith County Car Accident on TX-110

Smith County, TX — October 2, 2022, 51-year-old David Lewandowski died and two people were injured in a crash on State Highway 110 in Smith County.

Authorities say the incident happened around 4:30 a.m. along Highway 110 north of Tyler. Preliminary investigation suggests 19-year-old Nicholas Agustin was driving a Ford Crown Victoria south on the highway when he lost control for unknown reasons. The Ford left the road, then swerved back in and side-skidded across the center line. After entering the northbound lane it crashed into a Honda Civic driven by 37-year-old Kimberly Thomas.

Lewandowski, a passenger in the Honda, was pronounced dead at the scene. Thomas suffered serious injuries and Agustin received minor injuries; both were transported to area hospitals.

Investigators suspected Agustin of driving while intoxicated. Blood samples were collected for testing.

No further information is available at this time.

Commentary on Smith County Accident on Hwy 110

UPDATE (November 22, 2022): Later reports indicate that blood tests conducted on the suspect came back with a BAC of .078, below the legal limit for intoxication by alcohol. However, police also noted that the samples for testing were collected around three hours after the crash. Adjusting for the standard alcohol metabolism rate of .015 per hour, the suspect's approximate BAC at the time of the collision would have been something like .123.

My original comments below talked about dram shop law and how it might apply in this situation. As evidence seems to confirm that the underage suspect had alcohol in his system, it seems only right to find out where that alcohol came from in case a local business should answer for more than one kind of illegal activity. Will police extend the investigation that far, or would it take more thorough independent investigations to get answers?

David Lewandowski Killed, Kimberly Thomas Injured in Smith County, TX Car Accident

ORIGINAL: Police suspect that the young driver in the Ford was under the influence of alcohol and possibly drugs as well. Clearly that's a concerning state for any driver to be in, but the possibility of an underage one being impaired is even more troubling--and could have further implications if a local business sold that young man his drinks directly. If so it could already be in hot water for serving underage customers, but on top of that it might be liable for the injuries he caused in the crash.

This is due to dram shop law, which says that an alcohol provider who over-serves an obviously intoxicated person may be liable for damages resulting from that intoxication. In my experience, any business reckless (or at least inept) enough to serve a 19-year-old is unlikely to draw the line at over-serving him while they're at it. If a business did that and someone got hurt due to his impairment, that establishment may have a duty to make amends for the part it played in the damage done.

So did authorities look into the events preceding this crash? The answer to that could reveal a local business that needs to be taught a harsh lesson, and in the process an injured woman and a grieving family might get some much-needed help.

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