• October 06, 2022

Dean Ieppert Injured in Motorcycle Crash on US-271 in Upshur County, TX

Upshur County, TX — August 30, 2022, 66-year-old Dean Ieppert was injured in a motorcycle accident on U.S. Highway 271 in Upshur County.

Authorities say the incident happened around 8:35 p.m. on US-271 near Evergreen Road. Preliminary investigation suggests Ieppert was riding a Harley-Davidson motorcycle south on the highway in the left lane, following a Freightliner tractor-trailer at some distance. According to reports he tried to pass the truck but struck the semi-trailer, causing him to be ejected into the roadway.

Ieppert suffered severe injuries in the crash and was airlifted to a hospital for treatment. A witness that checked on him at the scene told investigators he emitted a strong odor of alcohol.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Dean Ieppert Accident in Upshur County

Reports suggest alcohol is a suspected factor in this crash, and witness accounts about the odor of alcohol may only strengthen that suspicion. If clear evidence confirms it, the injured rider may face some legal consequences for being under the influence. I don't want to speculate about that, though, as I'd rather look at ways to help him recover from the injuries he suffered in his crash--including whether Texas dram shop law might apply.

Dean Ieppert Injured in Motorcycle Crash on US-271 in Upshur County, TX

In a nutshell, dram shop law prohibits licensed alcohol vendors (bars, clubs, restaurants, liquor and convenience stores, etc) from selling or serving alcohol to obviously intoxicated people. If those businesses illegally over-serve their customers, dram shop claims hold them accountable for their negligence. Moreover, those claims grant DWI crash victims--including the drivers--the right to hold those businesses responsible for their part in the damage done.

I'm not accusing any specific businesses of illegal over-service, but if it's possible the rider's intoxication made him misjudge that pass attempt then it seems like a thorough DWI investigation would include where the "I" part happened. If a bar's staff knowingly over-served the victim, then it may now have a legal duty to help him get back on his feet. That's more than enough reason for investigators, be they police or independent experts, to take a closer look.

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